Expert Advice on Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is when the inner lining of the eye and eyelid become inflamed. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. While conjunctivitis can happen at any age, babies and children are the most common suffers. Conjunctivitis most commonly starts in one eye and easily spreads to the other. The inflammation will make the eye extremely red, so it is also referred to as pink eye. Also associated with conjunctivitis is a yellow discharge that is thick.

This discharge can dry overnight and crust the eyelashes together, making the sufferer unable to open their eyes upon waking. This type of discharge is usually associated with conjunctivitis caused by a bacterial infection. Conjunctivitis caused by a viral infection with have a water discharge and they eyes will become very swollen. Viral conjunctivitis can also come along with other cold or flu symptoms, such a chills, fever and body aches.

Newborns can contract conjunctivitis as they pass through the birth canal if their mother suffers for an STD such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, this is referred to as neonatal conjunctivitis. In neonatal conjunctivitis, the baby will have the thick yellow discharge appear within a week of birth. Babies under two months who are suspected of having conjunctivitis need to be seen by a doctor right away. It is not worth the risk to their vision to wait for it to clear up on its own or try to remedy it at home.

Conjunctivitis can also appear because of allergens such as pollen, animal hair, preservatives in eyes drops or personal hygiene products, dust, and chemicals like solvents and paint. Allergic conjunctivitis will usually affect both eyes at once. It has many of the viral conjunctivitis symptoms including eyes that water and itch as well as an itchy, runny nose and sneezing. A foreign object that gets in the eye can produce conjunctivitis symptoms.

If it feels as if there is something in your eye and you cannot seem to get it out, consult a doctor. They can place a dye on the eye that is fluorescent that will stain it. This will allow them to see if there is an object and remove it properly. Infectious keratitis is a form of conjunctivitis that feels as if there is something in the eye and is accompanied by severe pain that makes it hard to open the eyes. If not treated promptly it can cause permanent vision damage.

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