Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a kind of eye infection that occurs when the conjunctiva portion of the eye goes through inflammation. This may happen due to a virus, or bacteria such as chlamydia. Other irritants in shampoo as well as pollution, dirt and grime may also cause this condition. The symptoms include redness of the eyes, burning sensation, blurry vision and pain as well as discharge.
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?
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