Conjunctivitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Conjunctivitis: causes, symptoms and treatment


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Conjunctivitis is an infection characterized by inflammation or irritation of the conjunctiva, membrane covering the eyelid and eyeball. Although benign, it should be treated to prevent further complications and reduce the risk of transmission to others.

  • Types of conjunctivitis

    • Bacterial conjunctivitis

    • Viral conjunctivitis

    • Allergic conjunctivitis

  • Causes of conjunctivitis

  • Symptoms of conjunctivitis

  • Transmission of conjunctivitis

  • Treatment of conjunctivitis

    • Eye drops for conjunctivitis

    • Home treatment

Types of conjunctivitis

In general, it is possible to divide conjunctivitis into three types according to the cause of the infection: bacterial, viral and allergic.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

THE bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by the infection of a bacterium. The bacteria that most commonly cause conjunctivitis are staphylococci, streptococci and pneumococci.

Viral conjunctivitis

Some types of viruses cause viral type conjunctivitis. Among them are herpes simplex, rubella virus and chickenpox, which also causes chickenpox.

Allergic conjunctivitis

THE allergic conjunctivitis it is triggered by an allergic reaction to different types of allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold and animal hair. This is the only form of non-contagious conjunctivitis.

Causes of conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, as seen earlier, can be caused by bacterial or viral infections and allergies. In addition, contact with toxic products and environmental factors, such as overexposure to light, sudden changes in temperature and cigarette smoke cause the disease.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis has as main symptoms redness and burning and itchy eyes, watery eyes (sometimes accompanied by pus) and a feeling of having sand in the eyes.

Transmission of conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a disease highly contagious. Coughing, sneezing and contact with objects used by an infected person can cause transmission. Because of this, people living together with an infected person must be very careful not to get infected.

Treatment of conjunctivitis

The treatment of conjunctivitis will depend on the cause of the disease. Bacterial conjunctivitis, for example, must be fought with antibiotics while allergic conjunctivitis demands combating the causative allergen that triggered the patient’s allergic reaction.

Eye drops for conjunctivitis

In many cases, the specialist doctor will prescribe the use of eye drops for the treatment of conjunctivitis. There are different substances in eye drops, including chloramphenicol, dexafenicol, maxitrol, ketotifene, and only a specialist professional can indicate the eye drops to be used. Do not use eye drops before consulting a doctor.

Home treatment

There are also home treatments that can relieve the discomfort caused by conjunctivitis. Some foods, with carrot (Carrot Juice), chicory (in tea) and Apple (compress with apple juice) are efficient.

Photo: © Vladimir Gjorgiev – Shutterstock.com

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