What are Pink eyes or Conjunctivitis infection?
Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white area of the eye. This tissue aids in the miniaturization of your eyelids and eyeball.
Technically, the pink or reddish color of the eye happens when the blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, making them more visible. Conjunctivitis infection is usually caused by allergens, irritants, bacteria and viruses.
Children are more prone to Conjunctivitis. It is highly contagious and spreads rapidly in schools and daycares. Conjunctivitis are rarely a serious condition and are unlikely to cause long term problems or vision loss provided early diagnosis and care. If severe, treatments can help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Because pink eye is contagious, it is best to diagnose and treat it as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis:
Symptoms vary depending on the cause of Conjunctivitis infection.
Common Conjunctivitis symptoms include:
- Redness in the white of the eye
- Swollen conjunctiva or eyelids
- Increased tears
- Feeling like a foreign body is in the eyes or an urge to rub the eyes
- Itching, irritation, or burning
- Pus or mucus discharge
- Crusting of eyelids or lashes, especially after sleep
- Discomfort when using contact lenses
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
What Causes or Risk Factors for Conjunctivitis:
Causes or Risk Factors of Conjunctivitis include
- Exposure to Viruses and Bacteria
- Exposure to Allergies
- Irritants such as shampoos, cosmetics, dirt, smoke, pool chlorine etc.
- Chemical splash in the eye
- Foreign object in the eye
- Blocked tear duct in newborns
- Contact lenses or extended wear contact lenses
- Sexually transmitted diseases
When to call a Doctor?
The majority of pink eye cases have no serious consequences. These symptoms, on the other hand, could indicate a more serious issue, such as ulcers, which could lead to irreversible eyesight loss.
Seek medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision that does not improve even after the discharge is wiped
- Worsening symptoms
- Intense redness in the eyes
- Symptoms that get worse or don’t improve
- Medical conditions such as HIV, cancer treatment or weakened immune system
- Symptoms in newborns &
- Foreign body sensation in the eye
Note: Stop wearing contact lenses as soon as you experience Conjunctivitis symptoms
Treatments for Conjunctivitis:
Treatment for Conjunctivitis (or) Pink eyes is not always necessary. However, the treatment for pink eyes is determined by the cause or type of conjunctivitis you experience.
Conjunctivitis causes and respective care:
Conjunctivitis caused by viruses usually does not require treatment because your body is capable of fighting it. Antibiotics have little effect on viral infections. Using cold compresses or artificial tears many times a day can ease symptoms.
Depending on the seriousness of your symptoms, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic eye drops, ointments, or pills.
Wash your eyes with water to remove the irritant. You may be advised to use certain eye drops or ointment. If the material in your eyes is a strong acid or alkaline chemical, immediately rinse them with water and see a doctor.
To help with the irritation and puffiness, you may be prescribed eye drops, steroids, or decongestants. Using a cold compress or avoiding the allergens that are causing your symptoms help you relieve symptoms temporarily.
Conjunctivitis usually goes away on its own within 1–2 weeks. You should see an ophthalmologist if your symptoms last more than a week or two. He or she can check to see whether you have a more serious eye condition. Wear your contacts only if you no longer have pink eye symptoms or if your doctor says you can.
Prevention of Conjunctivitis:
Maintain good hygiene to prevent the spread of pink eye. Consider the following:
- Keep your hands away from your eyes
- Wash hands frequently
- Frequently clean your towel, bedding, and pillowcases
- Do not share your towels and washcloths
- Do not share eye makeup or personal eye care products
- Antibiotic ointment should be applied to a newborn’s eyes soon after birth to avoid eye infection
- Always clean your contact lenses as per your ophthalmologist’s instructions.
So, how do you prevent this infection? To answer that, we will tell you 10 ways you can cut down the risk of contracting pink eyes in this blog article.
10 Tips To Cut Down The Risks Of Pink Eyes:
10 Tips To Cut Down The Risks Of Pink Eyes:
1. Wash hands
Well, you might have gotten exhausted with hearing this, given the ongoing scenario. However, washing hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent contracting, not just the pink eye, but any infection. So, make sure you wash your hands before having food or even before you think of touching your eye for some weird reason.
2. Do not share personal items
Not sharing personal items with someone is an extremely important way to ensure personal hygiene and also prevent contracting the pink eye.
Do not share personal items like clothes, towels, napkins, or tissues with someone.
3. Cover while coughing or sneezing
Covering your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing may not prevent you from contracting conjunctivitis; however, it will ensure that it is not spread to others if you already have it.
Again, this is a best practice for not just the pink eye but is a good hygiene habit in general.
4. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
As mentioned above, your hands, on a day-to-day basis, come in contact with dirt, microorganisms, and also viruses.
These foreign objects enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. So whether you wash your hands or not, refrain from touching them with your direct hands as much as you possibly can.
5. Clean or sanitize surfaces
Regularly keep your surroundings and surfaces clean by regularly sanitizing with cleaning solutions. Objects and surfaces like door handles, countertops, bathroom surfaces, faucets, etc, are common ground for viruses and bacteria.
6. Sanitize hands
You might not always have easy access to water, so keep a sanitizer handy as you never know when you might need it. This does not mean that you use sanitizer frequently, doing so would cause more harm than good.
7. Follow contact lens Hygiene
If you use a contact lens, make sure that you follow proper contact lens hygiene. People who use contact lens are at higher risk of contracting conjunctivitis than people who do not use contact lenses or those who use regular glasses.
And make sure you do not forget to remove the lenses before going for a shower or splashing water on your face as bacteria may trap between the contact lenses and your eyes, resulting in an infection.
This does not mean that you must refrain from using contact lenses, just remember to clean it regularly before putting them in your eyes.
8. Use goggles while swimming in public pools
Public pools are common places that harbor bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Your chances of contracting something viral like conjunctivitis is high when you get into public swimming pools.
Also, the chlorine used in the water can irritate your eyes and be another reason to harm them. So, do not forget to use goggles while going for a swim in a public pool.
9. Do not share personal eye care items
As obvious as it can be, do not share personal eye care or eye cosmetics with anyone for hygiene purposes.
10. Maintain overall hygiene
Just cleaning your hands or contact lenses would not do the whole job, as preventing a contagious disease like conjunctivitis requires overall hygiene.
So, make sure you maintain cleanliness holistically. For example, change your bedsheets and pillowcases often, do not wear the same unwashed clothes more than once, and use fresh towels daily.
In spite of taking the above preventive measures, you may still contract conjunctivitis. Fret not, while not all cases of pink or red-eye can be conjunctivitis, consult an eye doctor if you notice increased eye pain, sensitivity to bright lights, blurry vision, and pus or mucus discharge from the eye.
If you need to Book an Appointment with an Eye Doctor or have any queries, you can always Contact us on 88 00 644 744.