Conjunctivitis Causes, Signs & Symptoms

One of the most common eye disorders known by the name of Conjunctivitis or Pink eye is associated with the swelling and redness of the surface of the eye and the edge of the eyelid. A thin film of tissue covers the surface of the eye known as conjunctiva which gets inflamed and thus causes this disorder. This type of eye disorder is one of the most commonly occurring eye conditions. Red eye is yet another term which is used by people to define Conjunctivitis. If not infected, the lining of the eye is generally found to be clear and does not have any specific colour. This is a virally infectious disorder and hence spreads quickly and easily.

Causes

Infection caused by a particular bacteria or any type of viral infection are the two major causes for the occurring of this disorder. A disorder of this type caused due to infection is known as Infective Conjunctivitis. Allergies to certain elements may also be the root cause for this disorder such as dust particles or pollen coming in contact with the eye region. Such disorders are known as Allergic Conjunctivitis. There are various other materials and substances which cause Irritant Conjunctivitis when it comes in direct contact with the eye like, chlorinated water, loose eyelash or shampoo, etc.

Signs & Symptoms

Although the signs and symptoms of this disorder completely rely on the root cause, there are certain general symptoms which can be noticed while it begins to occur. One of the most prominent symptoms is the redness of the eye. Due to inflammation and expanding of the small blood vessels in conjunctiva, the whole eye becomes red. Conjunctiva comprises of multiple cells which generate mucus and minute glands which generate tears. Due to the inflammation caused, the eyes start to water more than usual.

People diagnosed with Infective Conjunctivitis experience irritating and burning sensation in their eyes. They also experience a gritty feeling and sticky coat can be observed that is formed on the eyelashes. There is a continuous itchy feeling and some people also suffer slight sensitivity towards light. Usually, it starts to appear in one of the eyes and eventually starts spreading to the other eye as well.

Diagnosis

Doctors usually examine and conduct several tests on your eyes to check whether there are any existing signs of Conjunctivitis occurring. In case if the treatment does not work, a swab test is conducted through which a sample of the mucus is collected through a cotton bud and sent to the lab to find out its root cause.

Treatment

Doctors usually prescribe ointment for the eyes or antibiotic eye drops for people suffering from Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria. With such antibiotic treatment, the infection clears out within a span of two to three days. Antibiotic treatment can only be taken if the disorder has been caused due to bacterial infection. If the Conjunctivitis has occurred due to viral infection, it should be left to heal on its own. The viral type takes approximately 7 to 9 days to heal. Doctor recommends that no lenses should be used during this period.

Prevention

Since this disorder spread due to eye to hand to eye contact, care must be taken that hands are washed every time you touch your facial region. Maintaining a proper hygiene is the best way to avoid acquiring such infections.