Conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection of the eye’s conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is the transparent membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner eyelid. Conjunctivitis is often called pink eye.
Common causes of conjunctivitis are:
- Foreign bodies in the eye
Common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:
- Eye redness, pain and/or irritation in one or both the eyes
- Burning sensation in the eye
- Puffy, watery eyes
- Being extra sensitive to light
- Mucus, pus or yellowish discharge from eyes which makes it difficult to open your eyes in the morning.
Diagnosis of conjunctivitis involves:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Eye exam
Conjunctivitis is a contagious disease and it gets transmitted easily. We can prevent transmission of the disease by the following measures:
- Wash hands regularly, especially before and after eating, after using the toilet, after sneezing, after touching your face or eyes.
- Changing towels and washing clothes daily.
- Avoid sharing towels, and other personal belongings.
- Replace your eye makeup after the infection subsides.
- Carefully follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on using contact lenses.
Treatment is not always necessary for conjunctivitis. When needed, treatment usually depends on the cause of conjunctivitis.
- Viral conjunctivitis usually has no treatment. Applying cool and wet washcloth to the eyes several times a day can help in relieving symptoms.
- Cold compresses and artificial tears (eye drops) help in relieving inflammation and dryness.
- Antibiotics can be used for bacterial conjunctivitis.
- Self-care for conjunctivitis include:
- Stop wearing contact lenses
- Do not use eye makeup while you are infected. Replace your makeup after the infection subsides.
- Do not touch or rub your eyes.
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
- Use clean tissue or towel to wipe your face and eyes.
- Rinse your eyes with clean water if any foreign substance is present in the eye (which caused the condition) and you can also use eye drops.
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