Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent tissue that covers the white part of the eye. Symptoms of Conjunctivitis are:
• Redness in the white of the eye
• Increase in tears
• Thick yellow discharge that crusts over eyelashes during sleep
• Green or white discharge from eye
• Itchy or burning eyes
• Blurred vision and increased 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?
Eye drops and antibiotics usually work as the main methods of treatment, especially in case the inflammation has been caused by bacteria and other irritants. If the inflammation is linked with dirt, grime or an allergy, one may have to wear dark glasses until the inflammation and redness runs its course.
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