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Last Updated: Sep 05, 2019
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Conjunctivitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Conjunctivitis? Complications Treatment Causes

What is Conjunctivitis?

The eyes get inflamed and red in the frontal thin tissue layer that sheaths the eye in conjunctivitis, which is a quite common condition. It is colloquially referred to as red-eye. It generally starts with one eye, but after some hours, also spreads to the other eye.

Complications

It is quite frustrating to have conjunctivitis, especially allergic conjunctivitis. Thankfully it doesn’t have serious health implications in most instances. The conjunctivitis complications are rare. When they do manifest, it might be serious. They include:

  • Extreme cases of allergic conjunctivitis might result in scarring of the eyes.
  • Infective conjunctivitis might result in the infection spreading to other body parts, and may trigger graver secondary infections like meningitis.

Treatment

Conjunctivitis doesn’t usually need any treatment as the symptoms usually disappear after a few weeks. If treatment becomes necessary, it will be cause dependent. Antibiotic eye drops may be used in extremely severe cases to remove the infection. Irritant conjunctivitis clears up as and when the causative factors are removed. Antihistamine (anti allergic medicine) can be used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. The allergen should be avoided if possible. Contact lenses are best avoided till the time the symptoms clear up. Any crusty or sticky eyelid or lash coating should be cleaned carefully using water and cotton wool.

Regular hand washes and avoiding sharing towels and pillows help stop the transmission. Consult your doctor immediately if there is any:

  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Disturbance in vision
  • Severe redness in both or one of the eyes
  • Conjunctivitis in new born

School and Work

School and work shouldn’t be avoided in case of conjunctivitis unless there is extreme un-wellness. If multiple children in your child’s nursery or school have conjunctivitis, then it is best to keep your children at home till the time the infection subsides. Even adults who are working in such an environment and have close proximity should take a break from work till the time the infection is no more.

Causes

Inflamed conjunctiva may be so because of the following:

  • A viral or bacterial infection (also called infective conjunctivitis)
  • Dust mite or pollen allergies (also called allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Eye getting irritated by chlorinated water or shampoo or even a stray eye lash (also called irritant conjunctivitis)
  • Neonatal Conjunctivitis
  • Newly born babies under the age of 28 days are affected by neonatal conjunctivitis. Most instances of neonatal conjunctivitis isn’t usually serious. The mother doesn’t usually show any symptoms and thus may be unaware that they have been infected. A doctor should be consulted if there any symptoms of neonatal conjunctivitis in your baby.

Popular Questions & Answers

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis with significant hair loss and extreme itchy scalp. Using ketoconazole shampoo with betamethasone and no improvement.

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Having a vaginal discharge in pregnancy is absolutely normal because it does happen normal pregnancy as well but if it is infected with foul smelling discharge it needs treatment.

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MS - Ophthalmology,MBBS
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