WHAT IS CONJUNCTIVITIS?
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CAUSES OF CONJUNCTIVITISBack to top
Conjunctivitis can originate from both infective and non-infective culprits, such as:
- Viruses, bacteria and fungi
- Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
- Allergies or allergens such as dust, pollutants and contact lenses
Conjunctivitis, caused by viruses and bacteria, is contagious .
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CONJUNCTIVITISBack to top
Signs and symptoms may vary, depending on the cause, but could include:
- Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
- An increased amount of tears
- Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
- Green or white discharge from the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Burning eyes
- Blurred vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS DIAGNOSED?Back to top
- Most often in accordance with the signs, symptoms and history
- Clinical examination with an ophthalmoscope
- In some cases, a swab will be taken with cotton swab to sample fluid from the eyelid to be analysed in a lab, especially if the cause is likely a bacterial or viral infection
- Avoid contact with individuals who has pinkeye
- Wash your hands regularly, especially when you have a cold or flu
- Change your contact lenses frequently as prescribed by your provider
- Chemicals must not come into contact with the eyes. Should a chemical make contact with the eye, immediately rinse the eye with water
- Women should not share make-up
- Use a clean towel and facecloth daily – no sharing
- Change your pillowcase often
- When swimming, wear swim goggles
The treatment of pinkeye depends on the cause. The most common causes can be managed in the following ways:
- Viral: Mostly symptomatic with a cold compress or warm compress several times per day
- Bacterial: Typically managed with antibacterial eye drops or ointments
- Pinkeye due to an allergy or allergens: An anti-inflammatory or antihistamine may be helpful in combination with rinsing of the eyes with cold water.
- Change from contract lenses to wearing glasses until the condition has cleared up completely
- The ideal remedy would be one that simultaneously treats all these distressing ailments, with the following therapeutic properties:
- safe to be applied directly onto the eyes, in both adults and children
WHEN TO CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALBack to top
Conjunctivitis is usually not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. It lasts between 4 to 7 days. However, Pinkeye in new-born babies should be reported to a doctor immediately, as it could be a vision-threatening infection. If you develop blurred vision with pinkeye, see your eye doctor immediately.
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