CONJUNCTIVITIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Causes Pinkeye?

Several things could be to blame, including:

  • Viruses, including the kind that causes the common cold

  • Bacteria

  • Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine

  • A reaction to eyedrops

  • An allergic reaction to things like pollen, dust, or smoke. Or it could be due to a special type of allergy that affects some people who wear contact lenses.

  • Fungi, amoebas, and parasites

Conjunctivitis sometimes results from a sexually transmitted disease(STD ). Gonorrhea can bring on a rare but dangerous form of bacterial conjunctivitis. It can lead to vision loss if you don’t treat it. Chlamydia can cause conjunctivitis in adults. If you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other bacteria in your body when you give birth, you can pass pinkeye to your baby through your birth canal.

Pinkeye caused by some bacteria and viruses can spread easily from person to person, but it isn’t a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. If it happens in a newborn baby, though, tell a doctor right away, as it might be an infection that threatens the baby’s vision.

“Pinkeye” isn’t an official medical term. Most eye doctors would probably associate the term pinkeye with mild conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or a virus

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What Are the Types of Pinkeye?

Viral strains are the most common -- and may be the most contagious -- forms. They tend to start in one eye, where they cause lots of tears and a watery discharge. Within a few days, the other eye gets involved. You might feel a swollen lymph node in front of your ear or under your jawbone.

Viral strains are the most common -- and may be the most contagious -- forms. They tend to start in one eye, where they cause lots of tears and a watery discharge. Within a few days, the other eye gets involved. You might feel a swollen lymph node in front of your ear or under your jawbone.

Bacterial strains usually infect one eye but can show up in both. Your eye will put out a lot of pus and mucus.

Allergic types produce tearing, itching, and redness in both eyes. You might also have an itchy, runny nose.

Ophthalmia neonatorum is a severe form that affects newborns. It can be caused by dangerous bacteria. Get it treated right away to prevent permanent eye damage or blindness.

Giant papillary conjunctivitis is linked with the long-term use of contacts or an artificial eye (ocular prosthesis). Doctors think it’s an allergic reaction to a chronic foreign body in your eye.

What Are the Symptoms of Pinkeye?

They depend on the cause of the inflammation, but may include:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid

  • Swollen conjunctiva

  • More tears than usual

  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep. It can make your eyelids stick shut when you wake up.

  • Green or white discharge from the eye

  • Itchy eyes

  • Burning eyes

  • Blurred vision

  • More sensitive to light

  • Swollen lymph nodes (often from a viral infection)

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Make the call if:

  • There’s a lot of yellow or green discharge from your eye, or if your eyelids are stuck together in the morning

  • You have severe pain in your eye when you look into a bright light

  • Your vision is obviously affected by pinkeye

  • You have a high fever, shaking chills, face pain, or vision loss. (These are very unlikely symptoms.)

Call your doctor right away if your newborn has pinkeye, as it could permanently harm their vision.

Your eye doctor may tell you to come into the office to be seen immediately. If you can’t reach your eye doctor, call your primary care doctor if the pinkeye is mild in an adult

If your symptoms remain mild but the redness doesn’t improve within 2 weeks, you need to consult your eye doctor.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.

Children get it a lot. It can be highly contagious (it spreads rapidly in schools and day cares), but it’s rarely serious. It's very unlikely to damage your vision, especially if you find it and treat it quickly. When you take care to prevent its spread and do all the things your doctor recommends, pinkeye clears up with no long-term problems.

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