Conjunctivitis or pink eye is an inflammation of the membrane covering the white of the eyes and the underside of the eyelids. There are numerous causes of the condition which is relatively common although not usually serious.
Conjunctivitis usually occurs in both eyes together, although not always and may start in one and spread to the other. Symptoms of include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Irritation or burning pain in the eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Your eye feels as if you have grit in it
- Impaired vision
- A sticky discharge from the eye with crusting around the eyelashes
Treatment of conjunctivitis
The treatment given depends on the form of conjunctivitis:
Your doctor treats bacterial infection with antibiotic drops. Also clean the eye regularly with cotton wool and soaked in cooled boiled water to remove any discharge.
Allergic will require antihistamine drops. Identify the cause of the allergic reaction so you can reduce exposure and hopefully prevent contracting it.
Viral conjunctivitis currently has no cure. However, eye drops or lubricants give some relief. Using a cold compress may help ease itching, irritation, and swelling. Your doctor may prescribe Paracetamol or ibuprofen medication to help ease discomfort and swelling.
Reactive Conjunctivitis requires identifying and avoiding the trigger. In the meantime, eye drops and cold compresses ease discomfort.
There are a few simple rules which can help you to avoid contracting conjunctivitis. Viral and bacterial forms are contagious therefore if you are infected, be careful not to pass it on to anyone else.
- Make sure you wash your face and hands regularly to kill bacteria
- Rub your eyes
- Share face towels with anyone else, especially if they have symptoms
- Share eye makeup or eye drops with others