The Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin transparent cover of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids conjunctiva call. Despite being transparent, the conjunctiva contains blood vessels that line the sclera or white of the eye, causing red, bloodshot eyes.
Causes of conjunctivitis
Usually caused by viruses, bacteria or an allergy, it can become inflamed due to an allergic reaction to dust, mold, animal dander or pollen, and can be irritated by the action of wind, dust, smoke and other kinds of agents that produce air pollution.
You can also get irritation from a common cold or measles outbreak, ultraviolet light from electric arc welding, a solar lamp, or even strong reflected sunlight can irritate the conjunctiva.
2 types of conjunctivitis
Two types of conjunctivitis can be distinguished: allergic, it is one that arises because of an excessive response to an external agent, it can be observed together with other diseases such as rhinitis, dermatitis or asthma.
According to its frequency it is seasonal given in certain months or perennial present throughout the year; and the infectious, appears by the infection of a virus or a bacterium.
How long can conjunctivitis last?
Conjunctivitis can last for months or years. It can be caused by processes in which the eyelid twists, problems with the tear ducts, sensitivity to certain chemicals, exposure to irritants and infection caused by a particular bacteria: chlamydia.
Anyone can get pink eye, however, daycare workers are more likely to be affected by the various contagious types of pink eye due to the closeness in the classroom to other people.
How it is contracted
Conjunctivitis can be contracted if the person suffering from it has been in contact with infected hands or towels. Infections can be viral in origin, since viruses from an infected person are spread through the air. This is produced by an accumulation of bacteria in the eye that can come from any other infection originating in some area of the body.
Symptoms that occur
The symptoms of conjunctivitis are highly recognizable since the eye becomes red and teary, there is burning and the sensation of having a foreign body inside the eye, another symptom is sensitivity to light and it is necessary to wear glasses that protect the eye from the sunlight or ambient light.
On the other hand, if the infection is bacterial, the eye discharges yellow or green mucous membranes mostly at night, which can stick the eyelashes. Conjunctivitis can sound alarming; however, this common eye problem is generally easy to treat and with a few simple precautions, in most cases it can even be avoided.
Conjunctivitis can be extremely contagious, it is extremely important to wash your hands thoroughly with antiseptic soap and use paper towels. After these simple measures, the fluids that come out of the eyes must be gently cleaned.
How to treat conjunctivitis
To reduce the discomfort caused by stinging and itching, it is convenient to use warm or cold-water compresses. Also, you should avoid both makeup and contact lenses. It is necessary to go to a specialist, since if the infection is bacterial, the doctor will administer a treatment with antibiotic eye drops or antibacterial ointments.
The doctor usually takes a medical history and an eye examination based on the symptoms that are present. In allergic conjunctivitis, these symptoms are often associated with the rest of the pathologies that the patient is suffering, such as rhinitis or dermatitis.
In infectious conjunctivitis, tests can also be done to identify the infectious agent.
The causes that cause conjunctivitis will influence the type of treatment, to begin with, the eyes should be cleaned by removing the secretions with a clean cloth, warm boiled water or sterile physiological saline, cold compresses and painkillers are also usually useful.
Treatment can be the administration of antibiotic eye drops, ointment or gel, however, the most effective is the use of corticosteroid eye drops, which should never be used in the event that the infection has been caused by herpes, since corticosteroids make the infection worse.
The treatment usually lasts a week, administering the drops between four and six times a day and the ointment or gel between two and three times a day. In the case of children, the administration of the drops can be much more complex, since they can be resisted, it can be resorted to lying them with the head tilted back and up, asking them to close their eyes and applying the drop in the tear duct. Afterwards, they only have to open and close their eyes for a few seconds.
Conjunctivitis usually heals on its own, but it is important to treat it to prevent infections and complications. In fact, the specialist takes a sample of the discharge to analyze it and determine what will be the most appropriate treatment. Most of the patients who follow the treatment manage to overcome conjunctivitis without any sequelae.
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