Conjunctivitis also known as “pink eye”, is an inflamed eye disease that is caused by a virus, bacteria or irritants (foreign bodies in the eye or contact with chemicals, fumes, smoke, or dust). This is a common contagious disease and can easily become an epidemic by spreading widely from person to person. The simple way to control and reduce the risk of conjunctivitis is to maintain good hygiene.
Cao Thang Eye Hospital would like to make everyone aware of the causes, symptoms, and precautions of conjunctivitis (or pink eye). Let’s go over these right now.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis may be different depending on what has caused it, but often includes:
• Red eyes
• Yellow or green eye discharge around the eyelids in the morning
• Watery eyes
• Sensitivity to light
• Lymph node in front of ears
• A burning feeling in the eyes
• Severe itchiness in the eye corners (only in cases caused by eye irritants)
These are common symptoms in general, but in some cases, there could be a combination of these symptoms and this makes it more difficult to receive one particular treatment for it. It is recommended that you should see an eye doctor for a proper treatment instead of diagnosing and treating it by yourself.
Apart from a contagious disease, conjunctivitis could also be an early warning sign concerning other dangerous diseases like: corneal ulcer, endophthalmitis, meningococcal etc. It is very vital that you should visit an eye doctor as soon as you suspect symptoms of conjunctivitis like uncomfortable itchiness or an irritating sensation in your eyes.
Depending on what type of conjunctivitis you have, the eye doctor will prescribe medicines and apply a treatment accordingly.
• Viral conjunctivitis: In most cases, this type of conjunctivitis disease will clear up without any medicines or treatments after a couple of days, only apply cold compresses during this time.
• Bacterial conjunctivitis: You will need a prescription of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medicines from an eye doctor.
• Conjunctivitis by irritants: Allergy medicines may be needed for treatment, you should consult with your eye doctor to find the specific reason and plan a treatment accordingly.
If you have conjunctivitis, you can avoid spreading the disease to other people by following these steps:
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Wash them well especially before and after cleaning, applying eye drops or ointment to your infected eye.
• Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. This can worsen the condition or spread it to your other eye.
• Wash any discharge from around your eyes several times a day using a clean, wet washcloth or fresh cotton ball.
• Do not use the same eye drop bottle for your infected and non-infected eyes.
• Stop wearing contact lenses until your infected eyes recover completely, consult your eye doctor about this.
• Do not share personal items like: washcloths, eye drops, contact lens storage cases, etc.
• Do not use swimming pools.
If you are around someone with conjunctivitis, you can reduce your risk of infection by following these steps:
• Wash your hands after contact with an infected person or items he or she uses.
• Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands.
• Restrict yourself to any swimming pool during a conjunctivitis epidemic.
• Do not share items used by an infected person.