CONJUNCTIVITIS is the inflammation of ocular conjunctiva. It can be acute or chronic. There are various causative factors of the disease. Infectious conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or viruses, allergic conjunctivitis can be triggered by different allergens – pollen, animal hair, medicines or cosmetics. Conjunctivitis can also develop concomitantly with other ocular disease or general conditions. Bacteriological examination of conjunctiva discharge and treatment is required in case of infectious conjunctivitis.
Despite of different causative agents, the diseases manifests by similar symptoms. Acute conjunctivitis usually develops in one eye and then affects the other eye. Patients complain of eye pain, itching, sensation of a foreign body in the eye. The symptoms may be eye redness, tearing, swelling of the eyelids,abundant discharge (crusts). The crusts from dried pus can make your eyelids stick shut when in the morning. The discharge can be purulent, but also mucous or watery. Signs of general malaise may occur – fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes.
The disease lasts for 1-2 weeks, or in case of viral conjunctivitis – for longer. Allergic conjunctivitis lasts for 1-4 weeks and reoccurs after each contact with the allergen.
IN more severe cases conjunctivitis can be complicated by corneal inflammation or even corneal ulceration.
Conjunctivitis treatment depends upon the causative agent triggering the disease. This can be determined by a physician ophthalmologist only. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated by a large spectrum antibiotics – eye drops. In case of viral conjunctivitis treatment with anti-inflammatory medicines is prescribed as well as artificial tears. In case of allergic conjunctivitis, the allergen triggering this condition should be eliminated and anti-allergic eye drops be prescribed or even oral anti-allergic medicines can be recommended. For the treatment of chronic conjunctivitis antibiotic corticosteroid and vitamin drops are administered.
Patients suffering from conjunctivitis should wash their hands frequently, avoid touching eyes with their fingers, change the bed linen and towels frequently. The use of contact lenses is forbidden. Public areas should be avoided.