Conjunctivitis

The human eyes have a filmy layer of tissues that cover the white portion of the eyes. This layer is called the conjunctiva, and it is a lining on the inside of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis is a disorder that affects the conjunctiva. It is also commonly known as pink or red eyes. The disease is highly contagious. However, it is usually not serious and very rarely causes permanent damage to eyesight.

Cause 

Some of the known reasons for Conjunctivitis are:

  • Allergic reaction to environmental factors like pollen, smoke, dirt, and dust, etc.
  • Allergic reaction from wearing contact lens.
  • Virus attack that causes the common cold.
  • Micro-organisms like parasites, amoeba, fungi, or bacteria.
  • Allergic reaction to shampoo, chlorine in water/pool, etc.
  • Allergic reaction to eye drops.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
  Types of Conjunctivitis
  • Viral strains – this is the commonest type of Conjunctivitis. It is also the most contagious. The disease generally affects one eye and then spreads to the other. A watery discharge from the eyes characterizes it.
  • Allergic type – this type is caused due to allergies and is characterized chiefly by redness in the eyes. There could be itching and tearing too. 
  • Bacterial Strain – this type is also contagious and characterized by mucus and pus.
  • Giant papillary is a conjunctivitis type linked to the use of a contact lens or ocular prosthesis.
  • Ophthalmia neonatorum is the Conjunctivitis in newborn babies caused by bacteria. It can permanently cause eye damage if not treated on time.
Symptoms 

These are the general symptoms of Conjunctivitis:

  • Itchiness or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Redness in the inner eyelid
  • Tears and watery eyes
  • A yellowish discharge tends to form a crust over the eyelashes. It is common after sleep. The thick crust tends to prevent the eyelids from opening.
  • White-colored discharge from the eyes.
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Swollen conjunctiva 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Pain in the eyes

How can 7DMC help?

Redness, irritation, or pain in the eyes can result from other reasons too. Hence, consult with an expert eye doctor at the Department of Family Medicine at 7DMC immediately on detecting the symptoms mentioned above. Our specialists will collaboratively work with you in the early detection of Conjunctivitis and prescribe the best treatment.

Our specialists may recommend the following test for Conjunctivitis:

  • An examination of the eye
  • Understanding of the symptoms 
  • Lab testing of eye fluid

The treatment will vary as per the cause and the type of the disease.

  • Viral strains – this form of Conjunctivitis is caused by the common cold virus called adenovirus. The contagious infection will last for 4-7 days. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this type. Our doctor will advise personal hygiene and warm compress as a relief.
  • Bacterial Strain – in this case, antibiotics are advised. Eve drops and ointment will also be prescribed.
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis – the doctor will advise antihistamines like Loratadine or diphenhydramine. Eye drops are also prescribed.

Since Conjunctivitis is contagious, our doctors will guide you on personal hygiene and home care for a speedy recovery. Regular washing of hands with soap, washing towels and pillow covers daily, avoiding school and office, avoiding rubbing the eyes, wearing sunglasses, etc., are some ways to prevent the disease from spreading.