Look No More! The Complete Conjunctivitis Guide!

Sakhi Bhotika
April 24, 2017
Views : 814
Look No More! The Complete Conjunctivitis Guide!

Recall that phase in your childhood when you were in school and one of your classmates suffered from a very irritating eye problem and slowly some of the students also suffered from the same. Conjunctivitis it is! Almost all of us have been through the pink eye phase! I can clearly recall when my mother used to make me wear a pair of sunglasses when I suffered from conjunctivitis; wearing shades was cool, though! But anyway, that few days of eye irritation could scare the hell out of many people; it was all about constant itchiness and irritation in the eye. So what exactly is conjunctivitis and how to treat it? Don't worry; this article is all about the pink eye disease which will surely answer all your doubts!

Conjunctivitis comes from the word conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. So, when the conjunctive swells, it causes Conjunctivitis. It is a common disease and is also known as "pink eye". It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can easily spread in schools and at home. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.

Causes

Just like any other disease, conjunctivitis also has its causes. There are various causes of the pink eye disease which are listed as follows:

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viruses associated with the common cold have been observed to cause viral conjunctivitis. It is highly contagious and can spread quite easily. It can develop through exposure to the coughing or sneezing of someone with an upper respiratory tract infection. Viral conjunctivitis can also occur as the virus spreads along the body's own mucous membranes, which connect the lungs, throat, nose, tear ducts and conjunctiva. Since the tears drain into the nasal passageway, forceful nose blowing can cause a virus to move from your respiratory system to your eyes. Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery discharge from the eyes.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Most commonly caused due to the bacteria from our own skin or the respiratory system. Bacterial conjunctivitis is again very contagious and usually, produces a thicker yellow-green discharge. Insects, physical contact with other people, poor hygiene (touching the eye with unclean hands), or using contaminated eye makeup and facial lotions can also cause the infection. Sharing makeup and wearing contact lenses that are not your own or are improperly cleaned can also cause bacterial conjunctivitis. This is more common in children than in adults.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs more commonly among people who already have seasonal allergies. They develop it when they come into contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction in their eyes. In other words, anything can trigger an allergy can be a cause for your pink eye. Pollens, for example, are one of the most common causes of allergic conjunctivitis. Those who might suffer from allergic conjunctivitis might experience a lot of irritation and tearing, along with excessive sneezing and nasal discharge.

Other Causes

Irritation from a chemical splash or a foreign object in your eye is also associated with conjunctivitis. Sometimes flushing and cleaning the eye to rid it of the chemical or object causes redness and irritation. Conjunctivitis can also be caused due to the irritants present in the air and swimming pools.

What are the Symptoms of Pink Eye?

Now that we are aware of the causes, let's know about the symptoms. For those who have suffered from the pink eye disease, are very well aware of what happens during that phase. One of the major symptoms of conjunctivitis is the redness in the white portion of your eyes. Eyes start to itch and become watery at all times. The yellow discharges after you sleep also increases and deposits over your eyelashes and at the corners of the eye. You tend to feel a burning sensation at all times and your vision also gets blurred. Another major symptom of the pink eye disease is the increased sensitivity to light, making it hard even to look at your cell phone or watch television. It generally takes a week or two to clear up your eyes and get rid of the pink eye.

What Next?

So what to do when you feel that your eye is very itchy and watery? The first thing to do is check for the other symptoms of the pink eye disease, as itchy eyes are a symptom of almost every eye disease. If the problem persists then set up an appointment with your eye specialist. The sooner you visit your doctor, the better treatment and faster recovery is possible. Any delay in waiting for the problem to reduce on its own might lead to severe infections.

If you wear contact lenses, stop using them as soon as your symptoms begin. If your eyes don't get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor. He or she can check whether you have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.

There are some things which you need to make sure of; like are there any pre-appointment restrictions. Do not forget to ask the doctor about these restrictions. He might ask you not to put any eye drops or refrain from wearing contact lenses. Also make sure you inform your doctor about the medicines you might be taking, as it can also be a side effect of any drug.

If you are a parent and are worried about your child's eye, do not hesitate in asking as many questions regarding conjunctivitis. Following is a list of questions that you should ask the doctor.

  • What is the cause for the pink eye?
  • How long does my child need to stay at home?
  • When can he re-join school?
  • Are there any tests that need to be done?
  • How to treat it?
  • How contagious is it? Does she need to wear sunglasses all the time?

Do not forget to inform the doctor about your child's health record and the medicines he takes. It will be easier for the doctor to treat your child's pink eye.

There are a number of questions that your doctor might ask you, so do not take that lightly and answer each question properly. Some of the questions are as follows.

  • When did you start experiencing the symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Do your symptoms affect one eye or both eyes?
  • Do you use contact lenses?
  • How do you clean your contact lenses?
  • How often do you replace your contact lens storage case?
  • Have you had close contact with anyone who has pink eye or cold or flu symptoms?
  • Has your vision been affected?

After all these question and answers, depending on your eye status, your doctor will suggest some medicines and precautions be taken. He might even take a sample of your eye discharge on a cotton swab for testing. This will make it even clearer as to whether or not it is pink eye. So, do not skip a visit to your doctor even if you feel slight uneasiness.

Are There Any Home Remedies to Treat Pink Eye?

Yes, there are some very effective home remedies that can be used to treat your pink eye along with the medicines prescribed by your doctor! Following are some of the most effective and most commonly used home remedies to treat a pink eye. Read on and try the one that suits you!

Honey

Honey, also known as liquid gold is a natural sweetener and a favourite ingredient for all the fitness freaks. But one thing not many people are aware of is that honey is a good way to keep allergies at bay and also treat them. Honey is also good for helping you soothe your itchy pink eye! So what are you waiting for? Go and grab that unused jar of honey now!

Honey has a lot of antibacterial and antibiotic properties, which is why honey is present in many home remedies. To treat your pink eye, you can either put honey directly on your eyes or make an eye-wash. If making an eye-wash seems to be a viable option, all you need is honey and water. Simply boil two cups of water and add 2-3 spoons of honey and let it boil. Let it cool down, and just use it as an eye-wash, several times a day. You can use milk instead of water if you wish to. This remedy will soothe the irritation.

Coconut Oil

This might seem odd but coconut oil is very effective! No, you do not have you put coconut oil in your eyes. You just need to apply a little bit of the oil on your eyelids and little on the tear duct of your eye (corner of the eye). This tends to soothe the eye and reduce the redness and itchiness. Your suffering would not vanish just after one use, but it will gradually reduce. One important thing to note while using coconut oil is that you need to apply it before sleeping. If you apply it during the day and continue with your work, you would end up wiping off tears continuously. So, try this remedy before sleeping and you would definitely feel a change the next day.

Potato

In my earlier articles, I have mentioned using potato slices many times, be it to treat skin burns or puffy eyes. Potato contains a lot of astringent properties which help in treating a lot of things. Similarly, your pink eye can also be soothed by a potato! Just cut a slice of raw potato and apply it on your eye, that's it!

Salt Water

Salt Water is another effective remedy to treat conjunctivitis. You can buy saline water from any medical store and use t as drops. Or else, you can make some salt water eye drops at home! Heat some water, about half a cup, and add 2 spoons of salt to it. Let the water cool down and dip it in a cloth or a cotton ball. Now simply squeeze it over your eyes and let 2-3 drops fall into your eye. This can be done several times a day, and you would feel your eyes getting better.

Cold or Hot Compress

It has been observed that cold and hot compress is the easiest and the best way to get rid of the pink eye. Generally, cold compress is most effective for those hit by allergic conjunctivitis; while hot compress is more suitable for those hit by viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. While using the compress method, there are some things that need to be taken care of. Use a different tissue or cloth to compress each eye. Using the same cloth or tissue to compress both eyes will aggravate your situation instead of reducing it. Also, if you are using tissue or cotton, do not forget to dump it in the dustbin after you are done. If you are using a cloth, make sure you wash it properly right after your compress session.

Note: Always consult or discuss the home remedies with your doctor before trying it out. Your doctor is aware of your eye status and hence, it will be better to consult him first, or else you might end up aggravating your situation.

Tips One Should Follow

Well, with the doctor's prescribed medicines and the above easy home remedies, I'm sure your pink eye will not bother you for long. But there are few tips that should be followed for a faster recovery and also to avoid its spread.

  • Always keep your hands clean
  • Do not rub your eyes frequently
  • Wear sunglasses to avoid the spread
  • Take school leave or office leaves when you are suffering from pink eye
  • Avoid watching television or using your phone frequently
  • Do not wear contact lenses
  • Do not skip visiting an eye specialist
  • Do not skip taking the medicines prescribed by your doctor
  • Use separate cloth or tissue for each eye while cold or hot compressing
Sakhi Bhotika

Sakhi Bhotika

Hi, I'm Sakhi, and I love to meet new people and learn new things from them. I strongly feel that make-up can make you look pretty on the outside, but eating healthy keeps you pretty on the inside!

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