Archive for the ‘Types’ Category

 

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.

 

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.