WHAT IS CONJUNCTIVITIS?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the eyelids and the eyeball.

The most common causes are:

  • Bacterial infections (staphylococcus, streptococcus, gonococcus, chlamydia);
  • Infections with viruses (adenovirus, herpes);
  • Allergens (dust, pollen, makeup, contact lenses);
  • Irritants: shampoos and other cosmetics, cigarette smoke, chlorine used in water treatment (swimming pools);
  • Congestion (hyperaemia / redness of the conjunctiva);
  • Hyperlacrimation;
  • Pruritus (itching), or ocular burning sensation;
  • White-yellowish or greenish secretion that occurs in the conjunctival sac and sometimes causes eyelashes (cilia) especially in the morning after sleep sticking together;

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONJUNCTIVITIS?

A patient who has the above symptoms should consult his/her ophthalmologist. It should be noted that not every “red eye” implies conjunctivitis. There are several eye conditions that show these symptoms, so it is necessary to have an accurate diagnosis and then a proper treatment that our WEST EYE HOSPITAL medical team can provide you with accuracy.

HOW TO TREAT CONJUNCTIVITIS?

Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotic eye drops. There are now broad spectrum antibiotics very effective in this situation. In some cases, antibiotic ointment and other anti-inflammatory eye drops can be used.

It is essential that antibiotic treatment be fully observed (5-7 days range recommended by the doctor), even if symptoms disappear after the first few days of treatment. Viral conjunctivitis is relatively common, it can accompany seasonal respiratory infections (influenza and parainfluenza viruses). Usually it has a self-limited development. Other times it may be accompanied by keratitis (corneal inflammation), in which situation the disease may take several weeks to disappear.

Allergic conjunctivitis usually occurs in people with allergic (atopic) reaction, treatment being performed with anti-allergic  eye drops, sometimes with general anti-allergic medication. What is important is to identify the allergen (specific tests are performed), its removal from the environment or desensitisation treatments.

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