Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva — the thin, transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white of the eye. It is a common eye condition, and its symptoms include red, itchy, and watery eyes.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis can vary depending on the cause. Common signs and symptoms include a gritty feeling in the eyes, redness, burning, itching, light sensitivity, a discharge that forms a crust during the night, and a watery discharge that can cause the eyes to stick together.
The most common cause of conjunctivitis is an infection, either bacterial or viral. Other causes include allergies, irritants, and underlying medical conditions.
Risk factors for conjunctivitis include:
contact lens use
contact with someone who has an eye infection
weakened immune system.
To prevent conjunctivitis, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with people who have an eye infection. It is also important to practice good contact lens hygiene, such as cleaning and replacing lenses as instructed.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and will examine your eyes. They may also take a sample of the discharge to test for bacteria or viruses.
Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the cause. Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Viral conjunctivitis is usually treated with antiviral eyedrops. Allergy-related conjunctivitis is usually treated with antihistamine eye drops.
Coping and Support
If you have conjunctivitis, it is important to take steps to avoid spreading the infection to others. This includes washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your eyes. It is also important to get plenty of rest and to avoid wearing contact lenses until the infection has cleared.
Complications of conjunctivitis can include impaired vision, corneal ulcers, and increased risk of developing other eye conditions.
Living with Conjunctivitis
If you have conjunctivitis, the most important thing you can do is follow the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. Make sure to take all medications as prescribed and to follow up with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. It is also important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently, to help prevent the spread of the infection.
Conjunctivitis is a common eye condition that is usually caused by an infection, allergies, irritants, or an underlying medical condition. Treatment depends on the cause and may include antibiotic or antiviral eyedrops, antihistamines, or other medications. To avoid spreading the infection, it is important to practice good hygiene, get plenty of rest, and avoid touching your eyes.
This article has discussed the main cause of conjunctivitis and how to manage it. If you have any further questions or concerns, it is important to speak to your doctor.