Conjunctivitis is swelling or inflammation due to infection of the conjunctiva. This is the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye. The symptoms include:
• Blurred vision
• Crusts that form on the eyelid overnight
• Eye pain
• Increased tearing
• Itching of the eye
• Redness in the eyes
• Sensitivity to light
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS DIAGNOSED?
Conjunctivitis is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist by the symptoms and clinical picture. Swabs of bacterial culture are necessary if the history and signs suggest bacterial conjunctivitis. A patch test is used to identify the causative allergen in the case where conjunctivitis is caused by an allergy. Conjunctival scrapes for cytology can be useful in detecting chlamydial and fungal infections.
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS TREATED?
Conjunctivitis resolves in 65% of cases without treatment, within two to five days. The prescription of antibiotics is not necessary in most cases.
Viral conjunctivitis usually resolves on its own and does not need specific treatment. Antihistamines are used to help the symptoms. Povidone iodine is the suggested treatment
Allergic conjunctivitis is treated initially by pouring cold water over the face with the head inclined downward and in more severe cases non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed
Chemical conjunctivitis is treated via irrigation with Ringer's lactate or saline solution
DID YOU KNOW?
There are various causes of conjunctivitis which are:
• Certain diseases
• Chemical exposure
• Use of contact lenses