The mucous membrane that covers the white of an eye and eyelids is called conjunctiva. The inflammation of conjunctiva is called conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis results form infectious or non-infectious causes. Infectious conjunctivitis is contagious one. It starts in one eye and spreads to other eye within two days. Usually one eye is affected more than the other.
Non-infectious conjunctivitis results from allergy, trauma, inflammatory disease or irritation from chemicals.
In childhood viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common. Visual changes are not caused in in this ailment.
The conjunctiva is a clear thin layer of skin that covers the front of the eye, including the sclera and the inside of the eyelids. The conjunctiva prevents the entry of bacteria and foreign material behind the eye.
Bacteria such as streptococci, staphylococci, Corynbacterium, etc. colonize in the eye normally. When there are some alterations in the defense mechanism these species cause an infection. Primary defense barrier i.e. conjunctiva is disrupted that results in infection.
A wide variety of viruses are responsible for infection of the conjunctiva. The most common virus is adenovirus and herpes simplex virus. Less common viruses involved in causing infection are Varicella-zoster virus (VSV), poxvirus, picornavirus and human immunodeficiency virus.
Conjunctivitis can result during systemic infection with influenza virus, paramyxovirus, Epstein-Barr virus or rubella.
Viral conjunctivitis is a benign condition and is self-limited. It follows a long course than acute bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is characterized by the acute follicular reaction and preauricular adenopathy.
May Caused Due To
• Chemical exposure
• Use of contact lenses
• swelling of the eyelids
• Irritation with itching
• Increased tearing
• Gritty feeling in the eyes
• Sensitivity to light
• Thick, stringy discharge which may be yellowish or greenish in color
• Sneezing and runny nose in case of allergic conjunctivitis
• Contact Lens Complications
• Pharyngoconjunctival Fever
• Examination of the eyes
• Swab of conjunctiva for analysis
Treatment depends on the cause of conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis disappears on its own by removing the source of allergen. However, topical antihistamine drops can be used. Cool compresses give soothing results.
For bacterial conjunctivitis antibiotic eye-drops or ointments are used.
Viral conjunctivitis will disappear on its own. Warm compresses may give relief.
In case of chemical conjunctivitis, washing out of the eyes with saline is helpful.
• Avoid sharing eye cosmetics.
• Avoid sharing towels, napkins or handkerchiefs.
• Stay away from allergens.
• Avoid rubbing the eyes.
• Always clean contact lenses properly.
• Wipe the eye with lukewarm salt water to remove pus and crusts.
• Frequently wash face, hands, and eyes.
Prognosis is good. Symptoms respond well to treatment.
• Reinfection may occur.
• Spread to others if preventive measures are not followed.
• Puffiness of eye.
• The cold application gives relief.
• Stinging, burning pain.
• Eyelids stick together.
• Swelling of the eye with yellowish discharge.
• Redness and inflammation of inner corner of the eyes
• Worse with light and warmth.
• Greenish-yellow discharge from eyes.
• Inflammation of glands
• Offensive breath
• Excessive salivation
• Thick, yellow discharge with itching.
• Suited to emotional and sensitive person.
• Worse from warmth and relieved by fresh air
• Intense redness of eyes.
• Burning, smarting and sticking pains with itching.
• Warm feeling in the eyes.
• Catarrhal conjunctivitis.
• Eyes water all the time.
• Burning and swelling of the eyelids.
• Feeling of pressure in the eyes.
• Red, thick and inflamed eyelids.
• Profuse, burning and acrid discharge.
• Burning pains.
• Fiery, sparkling and staring look.
• Burning in eyes.
• Purulent conjunctivitis.
• Profuse discharge.
• Great sensitiveness to touch and air.
• Pain in eyes as if pulled back into the head.
• Burning and swelling of the eyelids.
• Croupous conjunctivitis.
• Granular lids.
• Ropy and yellow discharge.
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