Thursday, 4 January 2018

Treatments For Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye), And Prevention


Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they're more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.
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It can be difficult to tell the type of conjunctivitis you have by symptoms alone (or if some other eye problems or underlying health conditions are causing your symptoms). Adoctor can diagnose pink eye by asking questions about your symptoms and recent health history and performing a physical examination of your eyes. Rarely, your doctor may also take a sample of the liquid that drains from your eye for laboratory analysis (culture).

A culture may be needed if your symptoms are severe or if your doctor suspects a high-risk cause, such as a foreign body in your eye, a serious bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted infection.

The recommended treatment for conjunctivitis will depend on whether it's caused by infection, an allergic reaction or an irritant, such as a stray eyelash. Antibiotics aren't usually prescribed for infective conjunctivitis because it usually clears up by itself and there's a very low risk of complications for untreated conjunctivitis. There are several ways you can treat conjunctivitis even at home to ease the symptoms, this treatments includes :


  • Stop wearing contact lenses : If you wear contact lenses, you may need to stop wearing them until your eyes feel better. How long you'll need to go without contact lenses depends on what's causing your conjunctivitis. Ask your doctor whether you should throw away your disposable contacts, as well as your cleaning solution and lens case. If your lenses aren't disposable, clean them thoroughly before reusing them.
  • Chloramphenicol : Chloramphenicol is usually the first choice of antibiotic and comes in the form of eye drops. It's available without a prescription from pharmacies to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. Chloramphenicol needs to be used carefully to get the best results, so make sure you follow the advice of your pharmacist about how and when to use it, or check the patient information leaflet that comes with the medication so you know how to use it properly. 
  • Fusidic acid : Fusidic acid may be prescribed if chloramphenicol isn't suitable for you. It's often better for children and elderly people because it doesn't need to be used as often. It's also the preferred treatment for pregnant women. Like chloramphenicol, fusidic acid comes in the form of eye drops and should be used as advised by your doctor or as described in the instructions that come with the medication. 
  • Don't rub your eyes, even though they may be itchy. Rubbing your eyes can make your symptoms worse. Place a cool compress over your eyes, wetting a flannel with cool water and holding it over your eyes will help ease your symptoms.

Prevention Of Conjunctivitis 
Preventing the spread of pink eye
Practice good hygiene to control the spread of pink eye. For instance:

  • Don't touch your eyes with your hands.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use a clean towel and washcloth daily.
  • Don't share towels or washcloths.
  • Change your pillowcases often.
  • Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.
  • Don't share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.

Wash your hands regularly, this is particularly important after touching your eyes and will stop the infection spreading to others. Allergy medications often can help prevent or shorten bouts of allergic conjunctivitis. Sometimes these medications must be started before allergy season or allergy flare-ups begin. You should ask your doctor for more details on this!


Author: Richard Smith