Treatment For Conjunctivitis
Treatment For Conjunctivitis
Treatment for conjunctivitis varies depending on the type of conjunctivitis that you are suffering from. The symptoms of the different types of conjunctivitis may be similar but the causes are quite different.
According to American Optometric Association, conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis, often called “pink eye,” is a common eye disease, especially in children. It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.
Conjunctivitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to irritants in the air like pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhea are less common causes of conjunctivitis.
People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms:
A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
Discharge coming from one or both eyes
Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
Increased sensitivity to light
Source: American Optometric Association
An overview of the treatments for conjunctivitis is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These treatments are meant to act as a guide in treating the eye condition but there may be times that you would have to seek medical care.
Viral Conjunctivitis. Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are mild. Days 3-5 of infection are often the worst, but the infection will usually clear up in 7–14 days without treatment and without any long-term consequences. In some cases, viral conjunctivitis can take 2-3 weeks or more to clear up, especially if complications arise.
Artificial tears and cold packs may be used to relieve the dryness and inflammation (swelling) caused by conjunctivitis. (Artificial tears can be bought in stores without a doctor’s prescription.) Antiviral medication can be prescribed by a physician to treat more serious forms of conjunctivitis, such as those caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus. Antibiotics will not improve viral conjunctivitis—these drugs are not effective against viruses.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis. Eye Drops. Mild bacterial conjunctivitis may get better without antibiotic treatment. However, antibiotics can help shorten the illness and reduce the spread of infection to others. Many topical antibiotics (drugs given as eye drops or ointment) are effective for treating bacterial conjunctivitis. Your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment as conjunctivitis treatment, and the infection should clear within several days. Artificial tears and cold compresses may be used to relieve some of the dryness and inflammation.
Allergic Conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis caused by an allergy usually improves when the allergen (such as pollen or animal dander) is removed. Allergy medications and certain eye drops (topical antihistamine and vasoconstrictors), including some prescription eye drops, can also provide relief from allergic conjunctivitis. In some cases, a combination of drugs may be needed to improve symptoms. Your doctor can help if you have conjunctivitis caused by an allergy.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Always remember that the treatment for conjunctivitis would always depend on the cause of the eye condition. If you are unsure, it is highly recommended for you to seek medical advice.