What You Need to Know About Conjunctivitis

What You Need to Know About Conjunctivitis

Table of Contents

Pink eye is an infection of the thin mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers its entire inner surface, from the sclera up to and including the cornea. It may be caused by viruses or bacteria.

Your eye healthcare provider can diagnose pink eye by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam of both eyes.

Causes

Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva that results in redness, swelling and itching of the eyelid. This could be caused by bacteria, viruses, foreign bodies or allergic reactions; patients presenting with red eyes typically request antibiotics; however it’s essential that healthcare professionals can determine which form of conjunctivitis their patients have prior to prescribing appropriate medication; patients suffering viral infectious conjunctivitis often exhibit runny nose and throat congestion while those affected with bacterial infectious conjunctivitis often exhibit enlarged lymph nodes on physical examination whereas those suffering from viral infectious conjunctivitis may present with runny nose and throat congestion while those affected with bacterial conjunctivitis may exhibit runny nose and throat congestion as symptoms, while those affected with bacterial infectious conjunctivitis may experience runny nose and throat congestion as signs while those diagnosed with viral infectious conjunctivitis may present with runny nose/throat congestion/runny nose/throat congestion//irritable throat infections while those affected typically exhibit runny nasal and throat congestion can experience runny nose/throat infections can produce runny nasal congestion/throat infection may exhibit signs like runny nasal/throatitis have runny nose/throat infections may exhibit enlarged lymph nodes on physical examination while those suffering bacterial infectious conjunctivitis may present with runn/ or lymph nodes on physical examination may show larger lymph nodes present enlarged lymph node swelling on physical exam with physical exam findings/then have enlarged lymph node enlarged lymph node swelling on physical examination while those suffering may present throat infections will often exhibit runny throat/throat infection often show up runny throat issues when examination of conjuncillness while patients with physical exam symptoms such symptoms while physical exam/thrush with physical exam while those whereas bacterial conjuncitis typically present symptoms such as runnus with larger lymph nodes inexamine on examination have larger than usual present enlarged lymph node with physical exam due to physical exam en an enlarged lymph nodes on physical exam due to swelling with lymph nodue nodes on physical exam showing on physical exam en or runnis usually be due lymph nodue gland en en, while diagnosis often have lymph nodes being present with lymph nodes may present with lymph nodes usually exhibit signs enlarged lymph node disease etc causing conjunc it as.

Viral infectious conjunctivitis can be caused by any number of viruses, including Adenovirus. The disease spreads via contact with infected person’s secretions or fomites contaminated with it and most symptoms include watery eyes, itching, redness and light sensitivity. Because viral infectious conjunctivitis is highly contagious it’s advised that patients take extra care to isolate themselves in areas such as schools and daycare centers where there is high risk for infection.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is often responsible for bacterial infectious conjunctivitis. They can enter through dirty contact lenses or shared contaminated objects and spread quickly within eyes, leading to swelling, itching and watery eye symptoms as well as sandy/gravellike sensations, droopy lids and red, flaky surfaces in one or both eyes.

Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition characterized by itchy eyelids, eyelashes and skin around the eyes caused by airborne allergens like pollen or animal dander that cause hypersensitivity reactions in sensitive individuals. Swelled blood vessels dilate leading to itchy, watery conjunctiva that has cobblestoned appearance; itching can be eased with antihistamine-containing eye drops or ointments as well as mast cell inhibitors.

Symptoms

Conjunctivitis appears as a reddish-brown coating on the white part of the eye, known as the sclera, and may include sticky or watery discharge and mild itching sensations, leading to gritty-feeling eyes with blurry vision. Conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes and be caused by pollen or smoke exposure or chemical irritation from cosmetics detergents or swimming pool chemicals; sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea may also trigger conjunctivitis symptoms.

Viral conjunctivitis is the most prevalent type, usually caused by viruses similar to those that cause colds. Its infection spreads quickly through direct contact with infected secretions or by touching an eye affected by it, so anyone suffering from viral conjunctivitis should avoid sharing hand towels and personal items that come into direct contact with eyes; forcing nose blowing should also be avoided to minimize transmission from upper respiratory tract to eyes.

Bacterial conjunctivitis tends to be more serious than viral conjunctivitis, though both types can be highly contagious. It may be caused by bacteria associated with strep throat; thus it’s one of the primary sources of pink eye in children and teenagers. Neisseria gonorrhoeae can quickly progress into blindness in severe cases.

If your symptoms are related to environmental triggers, washing the area frequently with mild soap and warm water can help minimize symptoms. Eyedrops containing antihistamines may help ease itching or discomfort; you could also try using lubricating eye drops or cool compresses for relief of discomfort and loosening mucus or pus build-up. For contact lens wearers who require removal for any reason (re-infection prevention is paramount); consult with your physician regarding cleaning and storage solutions when not wearing contacts.

Diagnosis

An extensive patient history should be reviewed in order to pinpoint when symptoms began and their causes. A thorough exam of both eye and ocular adnexa is then undertaken, including measuring visual acuity to gauge how severely your condition has an effect on vision; while also searching for signs of other issues like viral/bacterial infection, allergies, blocked tear ducts or foreign objects in your eye.

Viral conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye, occurs when a virus travels from the upper respiratory tract to the eyes via mucous membranes that connect lungs, throat, nose and tear ducts with eye tissue. Coughing or sneezing may spread the germs further by touching infected hands, washcloths towels linens of people carrying conjunctivitis to those they come into contact with; or it can even happen due to medication like antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used for treating HIV/AIDS treatment.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically caused by the same bacteria responsible for colds. As such, it’s highly contagious and may quickly spread throughout a home, school or workplace in days. Signs include pink or red coloring around the white part of eyes as well as thick, sticky greenish or yellowish discharge from them – symptoms usually resolved with antibiotic eyedrops or ointments treatment plans.

Non-infectious conjunctivitis is usually caused by chemical or physical issues. This condition most frequently appears among contact lens wearers due to poor hygiene such as sleeping in contacts for extended use or extended wear time; or from foreign objects entering the eye, or dry eyes; usually manifested with red, pink eyes with thick, watery discharge that typically resolves within 24 hours.

Anti-itch medication, cold compresses and unpreserved artificial tears may help provide temporary relief of discomfort for many types of conjunctivitis. If known irritants cause it, avoidance is key in order to keep symptoms away. Certain forms may require using steroids or other prescribed medication in order to ease them further.

Treatment

Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, typically is not severe and responds well to treatment. The condition occurs when thin clear tissue covering the white part of an eye and lining its interior becomes inflamed and blood vessels become more prominent causing reddening or pinking of eye color. Causes may range from bacteria or viruses, allergies or contact lens wear.

Doctors can often diagnose conjunctivitis using history and physical exam alone. A smear of conjunctival tissue can sometimes help confirm the diagnosis; however, in most cases this step is unnecessary. If someone wears contact lenses it is wise to remove them during illness in order to avoid contamination and subsequent infection of other contacts lenses.

Viral conjunctivitis, most often caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) or adenoviruses (Adeno), can be very contagious and spread easily from person-to-person contact, fomite contaminated by these secretions and public places like swimming pools. Most cases clear up within two weeks without lasting health implications if rest is followed with antiviral medication prescribed by their physician to ease symptoms.

Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated using antibiotic eyedrops or ointments; the exact type used will depend upon its source, and all doses must be completed to avoid reinfection. Neonatal, gonococcal and chlamydial forms of conjunctivitis require specific approaches for effective management.

Non-infectious conjunctivitis is usually caused by either physical issues or allergies. Chemicals splashed into the eye may lead to mucous discharge; foreign body conjunctivitis often results from poor contact lens hygiene; dry eye syndrome; chemical irritations or exposure to smoke or dust are other potential sources.

Treatment typically entails eliminating any allergens that irritate the eyes. Cool compresses or artificial tears may help ease discomfort; alternatively, oral or topical antihistamine pills and eye drops may provide anticonjunctivitis relief as well.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.

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