Eye Resources: What is Conjunctivitis?

Bloodshot eye of a contact lens wearer caused by allergic conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids and also the external part of the eye. The disease is characterized by redness of the eye and a feeling of some foreign particles in the eye, which cannot be removed. Conjunctivitis is caused by allergy, bacterial and viral infection, and chemical exposure. Conjunctivitis is a contagious disease, and therefore, anyone is at risk of contracting this disease.

About Conjunctivitis: Brief information on conjunctivitis including causes, symptoms, and prevention measures.

Conjunctiva is a thin membrane that lines the inner section of the eyelids and covers the front of the white section of the eye (sclera). Inflammation of the conjunctive caused by an allergy is called allergic conjunctivitis. Allergens that provoke conjunctivitis include dust, mold spores, animal feathers, and more. The eye is mainly susceptible to allergic reactions because conjunctiva is a very sensitive membrane and the eye is directly exposed to the atmosphere. Typically, the eye is capable of defending itself against infections and allergens using natural defense mechanisms. For example, tears contain an enzyme, called lysozyme that prevents eye infections. Besides, the enzyme acts as a lubricant that removes harmful microorganisms. In case an infection does begin on the eye, the vascularization in the conjunctiva rapidly initiates a primary immune response and starts inflammation. Allergens on the other hand, are antigens that do not cause any harm, yet the immune system of some people reacts to them. Some of the most common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are itchy eyes, crusty eyes in the morning, and mild swollen tearing eyes, besides others. Bacterial conjunctivitis on the other hand, is caused by bacteria such as streptococci, haemophilus, and staphylocci. Viral conjunctivitis is closely linked with common cold, and may be caused by adenovirus and herpes virus. This kind of infection spreads rapidly. The most common symptoms of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis include itchy or scratchy eyes, sensitivity to light, watery or pus discharge, among others. Moreover, chemical conjunctivitis is caused due to the exposure to chemicals such as particles, vapors, solutions, or occupational irritants. In case of chemical infection, the eyes are mildly red, and inflammation starts after a few hours of the infection. This type of conjunctivitis rarely requires any treatment.

Conjunctivitis Overview: Detailed information on conjunctivitis including signs and symptoms, causes, treatment options, and more.

Allergic conjunctivitis: Comprehensive information on allergic conjunctivitis including causes of allergic reactions, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment measures.

Conjunctivitis FAQ: Frequently asked questions related to conjunctivitis including what is pink eye, what are the symptoms, how is conjunctivitis spread, how it is treated, and how can it be prevented, and more.

There are several causes of conjunctivitis or pink eye such as bacterial, viral, allergic, and chemical, however, the infection is most often the result of viruses. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are more contagious than others. Sometimes, it becomes hard to distinguish the causes of infection and the health professionals may need to prescribe more than one treatment before the cause is identified. Some of the common bacteria that cause infection include Staphylococcus, Haemophilus, Chlamydia, and Streptococcus. Viruses, on the other hand, include adenovirus, and herpes virus.

Conjunctivitis causes: Valuable information on the causes of conjunctivitis including viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis Epidemiology: Brief information on epidemiology, clinical description, laboratory tests, intervention related to conjunctivitis.

Some of the common symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness of eye, puffy eyelid, itching, gritty feeling, and acute sensitivity to light, a discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night. Conjunctivitis or pink eye may sometimes make one feel that he has got something in his eyes that cannot be removed; and while waking up in the morning, one’s eyes may seem to be glued from the discharge that comes from the eyes.

Intro to Conjunctivitis: Valuable information on different symptoms, duration, diagnosis, treatment, direction of using eye drops, and more.

Conjunctivitis is not a severe problem, however, if not treated it can be risky to the eyes. Treatment option depends on the cause of inflammation. In case of bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotic eyedrops or ointment is prescribed. Though viral conjunctivitis does not react to antibiotics, but antihistamine, or anti-inflammatory drugs can help ease the problem; and for allergic and chemical irritation, one needs to avoid the cause of irritation such as pollen, smoke, etc. The doctor may prescribe allergy eye drops for the same. In addition drug therapies are also given, if necessary. For viral infection, the doctor may prescribe antiviral eyedrops. The treatment may comprise ocular decongestants, and artificial tears; however, in case of allergic conjunctivitis, the doctor may prescribe allergy shots for several months to minimize the sensitivity to the allergen.

Conjunctivitis Treatment: Comprehensive information on conjunctivitis and treatment measures including what causes the infection, symptoms, and different treatment measures such as treatment for bacterial and viral infections, and allergic forms of conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis Care: Detailed information on care of the patient with conjunctivitis such as disease/conditions, guidelines category, guideline objectives, diagnosis, and management.

There are various preventive measures one can take to check the infection. Patients are advised not to rub the eyes, as viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious; it is always advised by the doctor not to touch or rub the eye. If the eye is itching or causing burning sensation, use a tissue to clean drainage. After using the tissue, it must be placed in the trash and then clean hands properly. In addition, wash hands at frequent intervals, do not share handkerchief, face clothes, or eye makeup, and eydrops, change pillow cases every night, avoid shaking hands with others, and avoid swimming. If a patient is using contact lens then it should not be worn during the infection.

Pink Eye Self-care: Valuable information on conjunctivitis and self-care including signs and symptoms, self-care measures, and red flags.

What is conjunctivitis: Brief information on different aspects of pink eye infection including how does conjunctivitis spread, when is conjunctivitis contagious, treatment, and how to limit the spray.

Other names of neonatal conjunctivitis are ophthalmia neonatorum, newborn conjunctivitis, and herpes neonatal conjunctivitis. It is the inflammation of the tissue covering the eyelids in a newborn baby. Infected newborns develop discharge from the eyes within one to two weeks after birth. Eyedrops are given to control the inflammation. The main cause of this infection is the blockage of tear duct, and infection by bacteria and viruses. Infection caused by bacteria and viruses could be very severe. The most dangerous and common bacterial infection of the eye is gonorrhea and Chlamydia, which can pass from mother to child during birth. Bacteria that live in a woman’s vagina may cause the infection. In addition, viruses that are responsible for genital and oral herpes can also pass to the baby during birth and lead to neonatal conjunctivitis. Infected newborn, therefore, develops drainage from the eye within one to two weeks after birth. Health care professional does an eye exam on the baby. In case the eye does not look normal, a few tests are done including culture of the drainage to test bacteria and viruses, and Slit-lamp examination to identify the damage to the surface of the eyeball. Some treatments are given to get rid of the problem. In order to open the blocked tear duct, a mild massage is given between the eye and the nasal part. Antibiotics are given against bacterial infection. In addition, eyedrops and ointments may also be used for the same.

About Neonatal Conjunctivitis: Comprehensive information of neonatal conjunctivitis including causes, symptoms, treatment, prognosis, and more.

About Pink Eye: Detailed information on conjunctivitis including causes, pink eye in newborns, symptoms, contagiousness, preventive measure, and treatment measures.

Newborn Conjunctivitis: Detailed information on causes, types of conjunctivitis, symptoms of childhood conjunctivitis, diagnosis, and treatment measures.

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