Conjunctivitis (Pink eye) picks pace early this season
Conjunctivitis, also known as the pink eye, is the swelling of the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is a thin clear tissue, which is on the white part of the eye and is on the lines inside the eyelid.
Children get it a lot. It can be highly contagious (it spreads rapidly in schools and day care), but it is rarely serious. This is not very likely to harm your eyesight, especially if you find it and treat it quickly. When you take care to stop its spread and do all the things your doctor recommends, then the pink eye is not a problem for long periods of time.
What Causes Pinkeye?
Many things can be blamed, including:
- Virus, the way the common cold causes
- Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke and pool chlorine
- A reaction to eye drops
- Allergic reaction to things like pollen, dust, or smoke. Or it may be due to a specific type of allergy that affects some people who wear contact lenses.
- Fungus, amoeba and parasite
Conjunctivitis is sometimes produced from a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea can bring in the rare but dangerous form of bacterial conjunctivitis. If you do not treat it, it can cause vision loss. Chlamydia can cause conjunctivitis in adults. If you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other bacteria in your body when you give birth, then you can give pink color to your baby through your birth canal.
Pinkeye due to some bacteria and viruses can easily spread from one person to another, but if it is diagnosed early, then it is not a serious health risk. If it is in a newborn baby, however, tell a doctor immediately, because it can be an infection that poses a risk to the child’s vision.
“Pinkeye” is not an official medical term. Most ophthalmologists probably associate the pink word with light conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or viruses.
What are the symptoms of Pinkeye?
They depend on the cause of inflammation, but may include:
- Eye blindness
- Swelling conjunctiva
- More tears than usual
- Thick yellow discharge on top of the eyelids, especially after sleeping. When you wake up, it can close your eyes.
- White or green discharge
- Irritation of eyes
- Blurred vision
- More sensitive to light
- Inflammation Lymph nodes (often with a viral infection)
What Can I Do to Relieve Symptoms of Pinkeye?
A lot of it comes down to cleanliness.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially before eating.
Keep your eyes clean. Wash any discharge from your eyes several times a day using a fresh cotton ball or paper towel. Afterward, discard the cotton ball or paper towel and wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Wash or change your pillowcase every day until the infection goes away. When you do the laundry, clean your bed linens, pillowcases, and towels in hot water and detergent. Keep your own towels, washcloths, and pillows separate from others, or use paper towels.
Don ’t touch or rub your infected eye with your fingers. Use tissues to wipe.
Don ’t wear, and never share, eye makeup, eye drops, or contact lenses. Wear glasses. And throw away disposable lenses, or be sure to clean extended-wear lenses and all eye wear cases.
Use a warm compress, such as a washcloth soaked in warm water. Put it on your eye for a few minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. This eases the pain and helps break up some of the crust that may form on your eyelashes.
Limit eye drops. Don’t use them for more than a few days unless your eye doctor tells you to. It could make the redness worse.
Don’t put a patch over your eye. It may worsen the infection.
Protect your eyes from dirt and other things that irritate them.
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