Conjunctivitis is an infection of the transparent membrane of the eye (the conjunctiva).
Conjunctivitis can have several causes. It is usually caused by:
A virus (adenovirus);
A bacterium (staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus, Haemophilus);
There are also conjunctivitis of allergic origin.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis are
– Red, itchy, watery eyes
– blurred vision, as if you have been crying.
– Swollen eyes
The treatment of conjunctivitis depends on its cause:
If it is allergic in origin, look for the allergens involved and avoid exposure to them.
For irritant conjunctivitis, it is usually sufficient to rinse the eye to rid it of the irritant substance. The problem disappears within 24 hours.
As with all virus infections, there is no cure for viral conjunctivitis. Clean your eye(s) regularly with saline solution (salt water for example) and wipe it (them) with a disposable tissue or a sterile compress. As cold brings a soothing sensation, you can apply cool water compresses. If the virus involved is the herpes virus, the doctor may suggest antiviral medication;
For bacterial conjunctivitis, washing the eyes with saline solution and an antiseptic is sufficient in most cases. Antibiotic eye drops are only prescribed in severe forms, with photophobia, eye and eyelid edema, significant purulent secretions and reduced vision;
If left untreated, conjunctivitis can lead to serious complications, such as inflammation of the cornea, which can affect vision. It is therefore essential to consult your doctor without delay so that he/she can examine your eyes and determine how to treat it.
How can I avoid transmitting or catching conjunctivitis?
Whether it is viral or bacterial, conjunctivitis is very contagious. You must therefore be very careful not to transmit the germ or catch it. It is enough to apply several precautionary measures:
– Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly throughout the day;
– Do not touch your eyes;
– Change your towel and washcloth regularly (every day until you are cured if you suffer from it);
– Do not share your towels with others;
– Change your sheets and pillowcases regularly (every day until you get better);
If you have conjunctivitis, remember to throw away your beauty products that have been in contact with your eyes and avoid lending them to your friends.
Lexicon : Photophobia= an increased or even intolerance to light