Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye”
Conjunctivitis is a contagious infection and spreads very easily.
Conjunctivitis is a common condition which causes the surface of your eye to go red and, often, sticky or watery and your eye becomes sore. It can be caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, allergy or inflammation.
Types of Conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis tends to cause a watery red eye and can last for two to three weeks even with the correct treatment. In most cases viral conjunctivitis does not affect your vision but rarely you might notice your vision becomes blurry or you may see glare when looking at lights. This is due to an inflammatory reaction causing small white dots on the cornea, the transparent window at the front of the eye. These usually fade with time, but it can take a few weeks or even months.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is more likely to cause a red eye with a sticky yellow discharge
Treatments for Conjunctivitis
There is no antiviral medication for viral conjunctivitis and it does not respond to antibiotic drops as it is not caused by bacteria. The best treatment for viral conjunctivitis is to use artificial tears and simple painkillers, with regular lid cleaning and cold compresses. The conjunctivitis disappears when your body becomes immune to the virus and fights the germs off, just as in a cold or ‘flu. Very rarely, steroid drops are given for severe cases of viral conjunctivitis or when the cornea is affected.
Antibiotic drops can be helpful in cases of bacterial conjunctivitis
Preventing Conjunctivitis from Spreading
Conjunctivitis is contagious and spreads very easily by water droplets (coughing, sneezing) or contact with tissues, flannels, towels, pillowcases and so on. For that reason, it is really important to wash your hands frequently and dispose of tissues after use to prevent the condition from spreading to other family members or work colleagues. Contact lenses should not be worn if you are suffering from any form of conjunctivitis.
To find out more about this condition and how we can help please contact us.