Conjunctivitis

Conjunctiva covers thin white layer of eye inside surface of eyelid. It provides lubrication to the surface of eye. If conjunctiva is inflammed due to factors like bacteria, fungi, infectious substance, non-infectious substance, allergic reaction etc., it leads to enlargment of blood vessels and cause redness of eye (conjunctivitis). Conjunctivitis or pink eye is common in school aged children.

Signs and symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation in conjunctiva
  • Release of excessive water (tear) or mucous from eye
  • Burning, itching and scratchy sensation in eye

Classification of conjunctivitis

1. Based on cause: Infective conjunctivitis
  • Bacterial
  • Viral
  • Chlamydial
  • Fungal
  • Protozoal
  • Parasitic
Non-infective conjunctivitis
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Traumatic conjunctivitis
  • Irritative conjunctivitis
  • Dry eye or Keratoconjunctivitis
  • Endogenous/ autoimmune conjunctivitis
2. Based on conjunctival response:
  • Follicular conjunctivitis
  • Papillary conjuctivitis
3. Based on clinical presentation:
  • Acute purulent conjunctivitis
  • Acute mucopurulent conjunctivitis
  • Chronic conjunctivitis
  • Serious conjunctivitis
  • Angular conjunctivitis
  • Membranous conjunctivitis

Causes

There are three main categories  for pink eye or conjunctivitis
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is more common in people already having seasonal allergy or who come in contact with foreign substances in eye.
  • Infectious conjunctivitis (bacterial and viral conjunctivitis) caused by bacteria staphylcoccal and by contagious virus.
  • Chemical conjunctivitis caused due to noxious substance or air pollution

Preventive measures

  • Maintain good hygiene conditions.
  • If your eyes are infected wash your hands to touch your eyes, stop applying cosmetics or eye care products and avoid sharing pillows or towels to help prevent it from spreading.
  • If you get allergic conjunctivitis apply cold compression on closed eyelid and avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • If you have bacterial and viral conjunctivitis apply warm compression on the closed eyelid.
  • Meet opthalmologist for further instructions.

Treatment

  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointment
  • Artificial tears
  • Warm compression
  • Cold compression
  • Avoid animal contact if you get allergic reaction

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