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?
Treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the cause. Allergic conjunctivitis may improve when allergies are treated. Antibiotic medicines most often in the form of eye drops work well to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis will go away on its own. Mild steroid eye drops may help ease discomfort. Many doctors give mild antibiotic eye drops for pink eye to prevent bacterial conjunctivitis. Warm water compresses can soothe the discomfort in the eyes.
DID YOU KNOW?
A former superintendent of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology in the city of Madras (the present-day Chennai)
Tamil Nadu in India, Kirk Patrick, was the first to have found the adenovirus that caused conjunctivitis, leading to the name Madras eye for conjunctivitis