Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. There may also be pain, burning, scratchiness, or itchiness and may have increased tears or be stuck shut in the morning. Swelling of the white part of the eye may also occur and is more common in cases due to allergies. Conjunctivitis can affect both the eyes.
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS DIAGNOSED?
The health care practitioner or the ophthalmologist will examine the eyes carefully and swab the conjunctiva to get a sample for further analysis. The other tests done will include:
• Visual acuity measurements to determine whether vision has been affected.
• Evaluation of the conjunctiva and external eye tissue using a bright light and magnification.
• Evaluation of the inner structures of the eye to ensure that no other tissues are affected by the condition.
• Supplemental testing, which may include taking cultures or smears of conjunctival tissue. This is particularly important in cases of chronic conjunctivitis or when the condition is not responding to treatment.
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS TREATED?
Treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the cause of infection. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotic dosages in the form of eye drops or pills. In the case of viral infections, there is no treatment. Patients need to maintain hygiene of hands by washing frequently and avoid wearing contact lenses. Allergy induced conjunctivitis can be treated by eliminating the allergen.
DID YOU KNOW?
Infants too are prone to pink eye and you can use breastmilk as a treatment here, which really works.