Conjunctivitis is also referred to as pink eye, is highly contagious. The infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva is a transparent membrane that covers the eyelid and white part of the eyeball. Pink eye occurs when the blood vessels of the conjunctiva get inflamed, and this is when the pink eye becomes visible. Inflammation in the conjunctiva causes the white eyeballs to turn pink or reddish sometimes. It is most commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection or any allergic reaction.
How To Prevent Conjunctivitis Or Pink Eye?
Pink eye cause discomfort to the eyes as it is irritating, but it doesn’t affect vision if detected and cured at the right time. Though it causes discomfort, early diagnosis of it can help to limit its spread. If you feel irritation or uneasiness in your eye, you must consult the doctor. Also, it is imperative to learn about its symptoms to cure it as early as possible.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
The most common symptoms of pink eye are rough feeling in the eyes, redness, itchiness, tearing, and discharge from either one or both eyes. Sometimes the discharge from the eyes forms a crust when you sleep, which sometimes also prevents your eye from opening in the morning.
Causes of pink eye
Some common causes of pink eye are:
- Foreign object in eyes
- Chemical splash
- Blocked tear duct in newborn babies
When should you consult the doctor?
There might be some severe eye condition that causes redness in the eyes. These may also cause pain in the eye or a foreign body sensation, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. If anything happens like these symptoms, it is crucial to seek urgent care from a doctor. People who wear spectacles or contact lenses must stop wearing them as soon as their experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Even if, after taking care, the symptoms don’t get better, you must contact your eye doctor to ensure it doesn’t affect your vision or eye infection doesn’t get serious.
Allergic conjunctivitis is mainly an allergy that is caused because of substances like pollen. It majorly affects both the eyes. When allergy-causing substances affect, our body produces immunoglobulin E that is an antibody. These antibodies activate the mast cells (special cells) in the mucous lining of the eyes that released inflammatory substances like histamines.
Histamine can produce multiple allergy symptoms and signs which cause the eye to turn pink or red. People who have allergic conjunctivitis often experience inflammation in the eyes, intense itching, tearing, sneezing along with watery nasal discharge. Using the allergy eye drops, allergic conjunctivitis can be controlled.
Most of the cases of conjunctivitis are caused due to adenovirus along with varicella-zoster virus, herpes simplex virus, and other viruses. Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis may occur with symptoms of any respiratory infection like a sore throat or with a cold. Also, wearing contact lenses that are someone else’s or aren’t clear can be the reason for bacterial conjunctivitis. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious, and they can spread through indirect or direct contact and therefore, it is essential never to use contact lenses of anyone else’s.
What are the risk factors of conjunctivitis?
Some risk factors for pink eye are exposure to someone who is already infected with bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, exposure to something that can cause allergic conjunctivitis, and the use of extended-wear contact lenses. It is important to take proper care and wash your eyes regularly to reduce the risk factors for pink eye.
How can conjunctivitis be prevented?
- You must wash your hands with warm water and soap for around 15-20 seconds. It is crucial to wash them before and after using any ointment or eye drops in your infected eye. You can also use a hand sanitizer that contains around 60% alcohol to clean your hands.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes as it will spread the infection and inflammation to another eye as well.
- Never use the same eye drop bottle from non-infected and infected eyes.
- Wash towels, sheets, pillowcases, and washcloths every day with detergent and hot water.
- Avoid wearing your or someone else’s contact lenses.
- Clean your eyeglasses carefully and make sure you do not contaminate the items you use, like hand towels, as they can be used by other people and may affect them.
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