Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Have you ever felt like your eyes are so itchy that tears form? You could be suffering from conjunctivitis.

First, let’s check out the symptoms and causes of conjunctivitis.

WebMD has provided us with a short list of causes and symptoms. According to it, pinkeye  or conjunctivitis has a number of different causes, including:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria (such as gonorrhea or chlamydia)
  • Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
  • Allergies, like dust, pollen, or a special type of allergy that affects some contact lens wearers

Pinkeye caused by some bacteria and viruses can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. Pinkeye in newborn babies, however, should be reported to a doctor immediately.

The symptoms of pinkeye differ based on the cause of the inflammation, but may include:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Source: WebMD

According to NHS, the recommended treatment for conjunctivitis will depend on whether it is caused by infection, an allergic reaction or an irritant such as a stray eyelash.

Infective conjunctivitis

The recommended treatment for conjunctivitis will depend on whether it is caused by infection, an allergic reaction or an irritant such as a stray eyelash.

Each treatment option is discussed in more detail below.

Infective conjunctivitis

Most cases of infective conjunctivitis do not require medical treatment and will clear up in one to two weeks.

Self-care

There are several ways that you can treat infective conjunctivitis at home. The following advice should help ease your symptoms:

  • Remove your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, take them out until all the signs and symptoms of the infection have gone. Avoid using contact lenses until 24 hours after you have finished a course of treatment. Do not re-use the lenses after the infection has passed as the old lens could be a potential source of re-infection.
  • Use lubricant eye drops. These are available over the counter at pharmacies or they may be prescribed for you. They may help ease any soreness and stickiness in your eyes. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Gently clean away sticky discharge from your eyelids and lashes using cotton wool soaked in water.
  • Wash your hands regularly. This is particularly important after you have touched your infected eyes and will stop the infection spreading to other people

Allergic conjunctivitis

Your treatment will depend on which type of allergic conjunctivitis you have.

The four main types of allergic conjunctivitis are:

  • seasonal conjunctivitis: typically caused by an allergy to pollen
  • perennial conjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to dust mites or pets
  • contact dermatoconjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to eye drops or cosmetics
  • giant papillary conjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to contact lenses

Whatever the cause, you will find that some self-help methods can ease your symptoms.

Self-help

If you have allergic conjunctivitis, you can follow the guidelines below to treat your condition at home:

  • Remove your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, take them out until all the signs and symptoms of the conjunctivitis have gone.
  • Do not rub your eyes, even though your eyes may be itchy. Rubbing them can make your symptoms worse.
  • Place a cool compress over your eyes.
  • Wetting a flannel with cool water and holding it over your eyes will help ease your symptoms.
  • Avoid exposure to the allergen, if possible.

Irritant conjunctivitis

Most cases of irritant conjunctivitis do not require any treatment as the condition should clear up once the irritant is removed from the eye.

An exception to this is if your eyes were exposed to harmful substances such as bleach or acid. This is usually regarded as medical emergency and you will need to be admitted to hospital so your eyes can be washed out with saline solution.

Source: NHS

Treatment of conjunctivitis is not that hard, you would just have to make sure that you follow the recommendations above so that your conjunctivitis would be treated at the earliest.

 

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