A virus often causes conjunctivitis and this can occur in people of all ages. There are several viruses that can cause viral conjunctivitis but the most common is adenovirus, with the herpes simplex v being the second most common. Some less common viruses that lead to conjunctivitis are varicell zoser as well as HIV. While viral conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own, it generally lasts longer than other types of conjunctivitis, taking two to four weeks to clear up instead of seven to ten days.
Viral conjunctivitis itself is not treatable but there are treatments that can help to alleviate some of the symptoms while waiting for it to run its course. Over the counter eye drops that are labeled as artificial tears can be used to help alleviate inflammation. Antihistamines, both oral and topical, can be used to stop the itching but are only mildly effective. Sometimes eye drops that contain antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent the viral conjunctivitis from turning into an infection.
As a last resort, eye drops that contain steroids can be used for viral conjunctivitis that is not clearing on its own. They should only be used under close doctor care because, if not used properly or for too long, they can cause permanent eye damage and vision impairment. Topical antiviral treatments are only really effective if the viral conjunctivitis is caused by the herpes simplex v. Regardless of the treatment, people with viral conjunctivitis need to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of water to help speed up the healing process.
Also there are some supplements such as vitamin C, A and Zinc that can help speed recovery by boosting the immune system. Many people find a great deal of relief from inflammation by using cold compresses and also by washing their eyes with cool water. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious in close proximity of an infected person, so preventive measures must be taken to stop the spread of the virus.
Contact lenses should not be worn until infection is completely cleared. All worn contacts and their cases should be thrown out to avoid re-infection. Makeup should never be shared and should be thrown out along with any applicators used with it. The infected person and anyone they are around need to be sure to wash their hands often. Also any surfaces they come in to contact with should be disinfected continuously. Wash cloths, towels and bedding used by someone with viral conjunctivitis should be washed immediately in hot water.
Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye. It is an eye condition that causes the tissue that covers the white of the eye to become inflamed, red and infected. There are several ways that conjunctivitis can occur.
The signs and symptoms of each are fairly similar. The most distinct is the swelling and redness, which is what gives the disorder the name, pink eye. Also there is itching, pain, and possible discharge.
Recognizing and knowing the symptoms and signs of conjunctivitis is important because it is highly contagious. The sooner it is treated, the less likely it will be spread to the other eye or to other people.
People often mistake it simply for a minor allergic reaction during the first stages. While there is an allergic conjunctivitis, that is not contagious, it is much less common than the infectious type of conjunctivitis that is due to bacteria or a virus.
Since the symptoms of each are close to the same, it is important that you seek a doctors care to determine the cause. Regardless of the cause, the skin that outlines the eyelid as well as the whites of the eyes will become inflamed and red which will cause the eyes to become swollen. The eye will be itchy and have a scratchy feeling. There may also be a feeling as if there is something in the eye. It will cause conjunctivitis sufferers to rub their eyes, which is how the infection is spread from eye to eye and person to person.
If conjunctivitis is not treated quickly it will lead to a watery discharge and then a more puss-like discharge. Often times this discharge can cause the eyelashes to stick together during sleep. When the infection becomes severe there may be vision problems such as blurring and/or double vision. If this is the case, then medical attention needs to be sought immediately. There are four major forms of conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacterial infections and usually occurs in both eyes.
The discharge will be heavy and yellow or green in color. Viral conjunctivitis is usually just in one eye and the discharge will be clear, like a watery eye. Allergic conjunctivitis is going to most likely be in both eyes unless caused by a foreign body that is just in one eye. It is often mistaken for viral conjunctivitis. Lastly, there is giant papillary conjunctivitis or GPC. This type of conjunctivitis will affect both eyes and along with the heavy discharge, there will be small red bumps on the eyelid.
Allergic conjunctivitis or eye allergies can cause eyes to be red, itchy and swollen that can be anywhere from a mild annoyance to a severe debilitation. This allergic reaction in the eyes has many causes such as animal dander or hair as well as pollen from plants, trees and flowers. Fortunately, there are many prescription eye drops available on the market today that can help clear up a case of allergic conjunctivitis.
PATADAY is an ophthalmic solution of .2% olopatadine hydrochloride and is also called PATANOL S solution in some markets. It has two times as many active ingredients as its predecessor, PATANOL solution. It is the first eye drop that has been approved for daily use to treat and prevent cases of allergic conjunctivitis. If you wear contacts you have to wait at least ten minutes after using it to put them in. Also the tip of the bottle should never touch the eye directly or it may become contaminated. It is not recommended for children under three.
The side effect that is seen most is a slight headache, but some people have reported vision that is blurry, stinging, nauseating, or burning. If these symptoms occur the eye drop should be stopped immediately and your doctor contacted for a different treatment for your allergic conjunctivitis. OPATANOL is another ophthalmic solution but it contains .1% olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution instead. It is the most popular prescription eye drop for treating allergic conjunctivitis symptoms but is not meant for daily usage. It has the same instructions for contacts as well as the same side effects as PATADAY.
Bacterial conjunctivitis, an eye infection caused by bacteria, is treated with eye drops that contain antibiotics. The bacteria can infect the eye after a person comes in contact with another infected person. They are not using proper contact lens procedures or possibly it occurred during eye surgery or other eye trauma. There are also more than one kind of prescription eye drops for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis, VIGAMOX being the most commonly prescribed.
VIGAMOX, an ophthalmic solution that has an active ingredient of .5% moxifloxacin HCI, is an eye drop that contains antibiotics and was formulated to treat eye infections including bacterial conjunctivitis. Children under 1 should not use it. A decreased sense of visual acuity is commonly associated with its uses but people have also reported other side effects such as stinging, burning, itching and increased redness of the eye as well as a possible rash.
While viral conjunctivitis has to clear up on it own, there are prescription eye drops that can help relieve the inflammation associated with it and this can make the sufferer more comfortable as they wait for the viral conjunctivitis to run its course. One such eye drop is NEVANAC which is an ophthalmic suspension that has .1% nepafenac to treat the inflammation and pain associated with viral conjunctivitis. The eye drops can also cause visual acuity as well as a feeling of pressure or a foreign object in the eye.
While conjunctivitis can appear in adults, it is most common in children. Normally children are affected by a mild case of conjunctivitis that occurs when the conjunctiva has been exposed to a virus, bacteria, an irritant or allergen. Conjunctivitis can occur in children of any age including newborns. Newborns generally get conjunctivitis through bacteria that are acquired while in the birth canal. All newborns have their eyes treated with antibiotic drops or topical ointments as soon as they are born to prevent conjunctivitis. However, the drop and ointment can cause allergic reactions in some infants that can cause allergic conjunctivitis to occur.
Older children commonly contract the viral version of conjunctivitis due to several possible viral infections but most often the adeno or entero virus causes it. Viral conjunctivitis can also have cold symptoms that come along with it. Children can still get Bacterial conjunctivitis that is usually caused by Staph or strep bacteria as well as phneumococcus and H flu bacteria. More often than not, children will also have an ear infection along with the bacterial conjunctivitis. If a child has pre-existing allergies then they are more susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis because their allergies will set off the inflammation of the conjunctiva. Irritants such as smog, smoke, or chemicals, can also cause conjunctivitis in any child if their eyes are exposed to them. Redness is the most common conjunctivitis symptom and the reason why it is also called pink eye. Also there will be itching and irritation. All the various types of conjunctivitis have discharge.
Allergic conjunctivitis discharge is usually clear and is in the form of excessive tearing. Viral conjunctivitis will also have this excessive tearing but will also have thin yellow or green mucus-like discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis will have a thicker discharge. Most conjunctivitis cases will clear up on their own, especially if they are due to allergies, irritants or viruses. Eye drops and ointments can be obtained by prescription and over the counter to help alleviate some of the symptoms while waiting for it to clear up. If it is a bacterial infection then prescription eye drops and ointments with antibiotics will be needed to kill the bacteria. Also to help ease the suffering from the symptoms, cold and warm compresses, as well as eye washing, can be done every couple of hours. Just be sure to throw out or wash right away any washcloths or other materials used because they can be very contagious.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with eye drops that contain antibiotics. If it is viral or due to herpes however, the antibiotic eye drops will not work. This is because antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses. Most viral infections just have to run their course. There are over the counter eye drops and creams that can be used to help with some of the symptoms, such as inflammation, burning, and itching, whether it is bacterial or viral conjunctivitis.
Usually the symptoms will get worse for the first few days and then start to ease up. Viral conjunctivitis should clear up in two to three weeks. If not, a doctor should be seen to be sure it is not something else. There are also prescription eye drops that can be given by a doctor to help with the symptoms of both kinds of conjunctivitis. These include eye drops containing anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antihistamine and/or steroid medications.
All medications need to be used as prescribed and for the entire length of treatment prescribed. The wearing of contact lenses can have an effect on treatment. Contact lenses should be discarded as well as their carrying cases and any open bottles of solution. Infected contact lens wearers need to be sure that their conjunctivitis is completely gone before wearing contacts again. Symptoms of conjunctivitis can be treated by home remedies as well.
There are several soothing options to help combat the irritation and discomfort associated with conjunctivitis. This can be done with warm and cold compresses. Just take a sterile, lint free cloth and soak it in either hot or cold water. Wring out all the excess water and let the cloth sit on the eye(s) for ten minutes. This can stop the itching and lower the swelling which will help with the discomfort. Be sure not to rub the eyes because this will only make the symptoms worse.
Of course extra attention should be paid to personal hygiene and hand washing while infected. All towels and wash cloths used by an infected person need to be washed immediately. All surfaces they come in to contact with should be disinfected often as well. Also pillowcases and other bedding should be washed daily until infection clears completely. Any make-up that was being used should be thrown out and never shared with others.
The most apparent symptom of conjunctivitis is the redness caused by the inflammation. This redness in and around the eye is what gives conjunctivitis the name, pink eye. This is an eye problem that is common and has several causes. The symptoms will be slightly different depending on the cause but many symptoms will be the same across the board. Some of them are burning, itching, pain, irritation, discharge, watering and crusting.
These are all symptoms that will give you an idea of what kind of conjunctivitis you are dealing with. Conjunctivitis that is caused by bacteria or viral infections is extremely contagious. Allergic conjunctivitis is due to allergens or foreign bodies getting into the eyes and it is not contagious. Infectious conjunctivitis can be easily spread from sneezing and coughing, as small drops of saliva that have the virus or bacteria in it, are sprayed in to the air.
Sharing towels or washcloths, along with touching surfaces, such as doorknobs and counter tops, after an infected person, can also spread conjunctivitis. While conjunctivitis can strike adults, it most commonly occurs in children, especially younger children and infants. This is because conjunctivitis is spread very quickly in daycare and school. To prevent conjunctivitis in the common areas, the children as well as the adults should do frequent washing of the hands.
Also keeping disinfectant spray near by and using it frequently is a good idea. How the infected eye feels is going to be one of the best clues as to what kind of conjunctivitis may be present. For allergic conjunctivitis there will be the redness, itching, and large amounts of tearing. There may also be cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat plus a runny, stuffy or itchy nose. With bacterial conjunctivitis it will be in both eyes and has all of the above symptoms but has puss-like discharge that is yellow or green in color.
This discharge can dry on the eyelashes, crusting the eyelids together. Viral conjunctivitis has all the symptoms above except the watering will be less and the puss-like discharge thinner. Also viral conjunctivitis may only infect one eye but can be spread to the other. If you seek the advice of a doctor be sure to tell them exactly what your symptoms are and whether they happened slowly over time or all at once. Also let them know if you have had contact with a person who may have had conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis affects the conjunctiva, the thin layer of tissue that covers the white of the eye as well as the inside of the eyelid. It is usually caused by an infection. Most of the time infective conjunctivitis is due to bacteria or a virus, often the exact same bacteria and viruses that cause cold and flu. While infective conjunctivitis can occur alone, it often coincides with a case of the flu or cold. Infective conjunctivitis is not a serious infection most of the time, usually clearing up on its own within a week or two.
Very rarely does it cause any permanent eye problems. It is possible, however, for infective conjunctivitis to be more serious. If it is caused by the herpes virus, the same one that causes cold sores, Keratitis may occur. Keratitis is when the cornea of the eye becomes infected. The biggest sign that you have Keratitis, along with your infective conjunctivitis, is that you will be in severe pain instead of just minor discomfort that normally occurs.
You will also have blurry vision. Infective conjunctivitis can be especially dangerous for newborns that contract it during birth if their mother has Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. The presence of these STDs at birth requires that the newborn receive immediate preventive measures to stop a possible infective conjunctivitis occurrence. Infective conjunctivitis can also be caused in adults because of Chlamydia. While it usually starts in one eye, infective conjunctivitis can easily spread to the other and most often does, before there is any sign of it.
This makes it appear that both eyes have been infected at the same time. The first sign of infective conjunctivitis is when the white of the eye turns red or pink in color. The eye may have a gritty feeling like something is in it and begin to have excess tearing. It will be fairly sore and swollen as well. As the infective conjunctivitis continues there will eventually be some form of mucus-like discharge that is yellow or green in color. If a virus is the cause it will be thinner and there will be more tearing than mucus.
If bacteria are the culprit, then there will be thick discharge that can cause the eyes to get stuck together while sleeping. The vision in the eye should not be affected except for momentary blurring due to the discharge and tearing. No treatment is needed in most cases of infective conjunctivitis. The excessive tearing is the eye’s way of cleaning itself and the tears actually have antibodies in them that will kill the bacteria. It usually clears on its own in two weeks, at the longest, but most cases are gone within five days. However, if it lasts longer or symptoms become severe, medical advice should be sought right away.
Neonatal conjunctivitis appears in newborn babys due to a tear duct that is blocked, irritated, or infected. The symptoms of neonatal conjunctivitis are swollen and red eyelids, drainage from the eyes that is watery and/or bloody, and also thick discharge that is like puss. To treat neonatal conjunctivitis infants are given antibiotics by means of eye drops, ointments and oral medication. If the infection is severe enough the infant may be given antibiotics intravenously as well.
Often more than one type of antibiotic will be used to treat neonatal conjunctivitis. To remove discharge that has built up and possibly dried, saline solution is used to clean the infant’s eyes. If the neonatal conjunctivitis is the result of a blocked tear duct, then a warm and gentle massage of the area in the middle of the eyes can be used. If the neonatal conjunctivitis lingers for more than one year then surgery may be performed.
Any irritation the infant has to the eye drops used at the time of birth, which can cause neonatal conjunctivitis symptoms, will clear on its own. What course of treatment is taken will depend on the cause of the neonatal conjunctivitis. If it is caused by infection, the treatment will be more aggressive because this type of neonatal conjunctivitis may cause permanent vision damage if not treated properly and promptly.
There are many things that can cause infectious neonatal conjunctivitis in an infant. Bacteria is the most common culprit such as when the mother has an STD like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. These STDs are passed to the infant in the birth canal and can cause severe neonatal conjunctivitis. In addition, the virus that leads to oral and genital herpes can also lead to neonatal conjunctivitis and possible eye problems.
The virus is also contracted by the baby in the birth canal. Although, herpes is a less common cause than the other STDs mentioned. More uncommonly, but still possible, neonatal conjunctivitis can be caused by the bacteria that is naturally present in a woman’s vagina but has nothing to do with an STD. A woman may not even have symptoms of the above problems but still be carrying the virus or bacteria in her vagina when she gives birth, causing neonatal conjunctivitis.
If an infant has become infected with neonatal conjunctivitis the symptoms will usually appear within one day to two weeks. First the eyelids will become swollen, then red and sore. If not treated at this point, watery and puss like discharge will form. Most hospitals, by state law, automatically put antibiotic drops in each newborn infant’s eyes to stop possible neonatal conjunctivitis because it is very contagious.
Conjunctivitis is usually a viral or bacterial infection that will clear up on its own in a couple weeks without treatment. However, there are a few natural treatments you can do at home to help alleviate the symptoms and speed the recovery. They can also help to keep the conjunctivitis from spreading. The symptoms for viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are similar with itchy, inflammation, watery eyes that are severely red and yellowish discharge.
Chamomile tea can be used as either an eye wash or on a warm compress. Simply boil chamomile leave in a cup of water, cool and wash eye with it using a sterile eye cup. You can also soak a sterile cloth that is lint free in the tea while hot for a compress or cool it in the fridge to make a cold compress. You need to change the cloth and re-sterilize the eye cup after each treatment. You can repeat as often as needed to help decrease the inflammation, swelling and itching of conjunctivitis.
Ginger tea can also be used which works as an anti-inflammatory and can be used in the same way. You should also repeatedly wash your hands and eyes throughout the day with a vinegar solution that has 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of water. This will help to kill any virus or bacteria that may be present on your hands or around your eyes. You can also try diluted honey as well.
Straight honey can also be applied directly to the eyes and then washed off after a few minutes because of its antibacterial properties. A good way to combat and prevent any infection is to start on the inside with your immune system and conjunctivitis is no exception. You can do this by increasing your intake of vitamin c, vitamin a, zinc and garlic. You can also drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water before each meal.
To disinfect your home naturally you can use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar but not mixed together. Simply put each solution in its own spray bottles. With both solutions several times a day clean any surfaces that the infected person may come in contact with including toys, door knobs, counter tops, telephones and remotes. If symptoms do not clear up within two weeks and if there is severe pain, vision problems or flu like symptoms then you need to consult a doctor.
Medications may be needed to treat conjunctivitis. The kind of medications that are used is going to depend on the cause of the conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is treated by antihistamines both in eye drops and orally. Oral antihistamines can be purchased over the counter and includes loratadine that is found on Claritin and Alavert. There are also prescription oral antihistamines such as cetirizine, or Zyrtec, fexofenadine, or Allegra, and desloratadine, or Clarinex.
Some people still use the over the counter oral anihistamines, such as Benadryl, because they are fast acting but they can also make you sedated by regular use. There are antihistamine eye drops available over the counter and by prescription as well. Over the counter eye drops come as decongestants such as Visine or Naphcon, and combination of decongestant with anti-histamines such as Visine-A or Naphcon-A. Eye drops that contain decongestants, wether they have anti-histamines or not, are only recommended for short term use.
If they are used too much they can actually make the redness and inflammation associated with conjunctivitis more severe. They can also not be used by this with glaucoma and should be used cautiously by this with height blood pressure or heart issues. The FDA has approved Zaditor, previously only available by prescription, for over the counter use. This eye drop contains ketotoifen that works like a anti-histamine as well as prevents the release of chemicals that cause inflammation.
Its over the counter name is Alaway and is okay to use for a more prolonged period of time, unlike other over the counter decongestant eye drops. If over the counter eye drops are not helping, there are also prescription eye drop options. There are five main types of prescription eye drops and they differ on how the medication in them works to help the conjunctivitis. First, there are eye drops that contain the anti-histamine emedastine, which are prescribed for allergic conjunctivitis to be used as needed.
Second there are, eye drops that stabilize mast cells work to prevent allergic conjunctivitis for chronic sufferers. They contain cromolyn (Crolom), lodoxamide (Alomide), nedocromil (Alocril) and pemirolast (Alamast). They need to be used on a daily basis to be fully effective and not just as needed. Third, some of the newest prescription eye drops are going to be a combination of both. They include olopatadine (Patanol), azelastine (Optivar), epinastine (Elestat) and ketotifen (Zaditor). These eye drops not only block histamines but stop the mast cells from being able to release the chemicals that cause the allergic reaction.
Fourth, there are eye drops that contain anti-inflammatory agents that are non-steroidal such as ketorolac (Acular). They are made specifically for treating allergic conjunctivitis and work much like ibuprofen.
Fifth, there are steroidal eye drops the contain corticosteroid. Since they can lead to sever eye problems they can only be used when all else has failed and under close doctor care. One kind is loteprednol (Alrex) that can be used on a short term basis to get an infection under control. Generally they are only used for seven to ten days and with other eye drops listed above.