When the thin membrane that lies the surface of the eye ( conjunctiva) becomes infected by micro-organism (such as viruses and bacteria ) or reacts to allergens causing allergy – it becomes inflamed thereby resulting to conjunctivitis.
WHAT HAPPENS IN CONJUNCTIVITIS?
The conjunctiva is a very thin, clear membrane that covers the white of the eye (sclera) and the inner surface of the eyelids. When tiny blood vessels within the conjunctiva become inflamed they become more visible, causing the white (sclera) of your eyes to appear reddish pink.
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE CONJUNCTIVITIS?
The symptoms experienced depends on the causative agents of conjunctivitis.
Here are the signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis caused by virus: One or both eyes can be affected. You can have the following signs and symptoms.
1. Red or pink eyes
1. Watery eyes
2. Itchy eyes
3. Sensitivity to light.
This is highly contagious, it can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria: One or both eyes can also be affected. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis.
1. Red eyes
2. Eye Discharge ( sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow discharge ), In some cases, this discharge can cause the eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up.
This is also contagious (usually by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye).
Conjunctivitis caused by Allergy: Both eyes are affected.
1. Red eyes
2. Watery Eyes
3. burning sensation
4. Itchy eyes which can also be accompanied with stuffiness and a runny nose.
This is not contagious at all.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CONJUNCTIVITIS?
- Wash your hands re regularly.
- Avoid sharing towels or washcloths.
- Change your towel, washcloth and pillowcase regularly.
- Stay away from cosmetics during infection and replace eye cosmetics after your infection clears.
IS THERE CURE FOR CONJUNCTIVITIS?
Most of the conjunctivitis symptoms will resolve within few days if not treated at all but clinically we have various treatment options available to treat conjunctivitis. You may need to visit a standard eye clinic to get a comprehensive eye examination.
However, here are some home made treatments you can do;
1. Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to prevent dryness.
2. Do a warm or cold compress
3. Clean the discharge from your eyes with a wet washcloth or tissue.This is not a substitute for treatment. Please, consult your eye doctor.
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