Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

    • Brief

    • Pink eye is usually caused by an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye and the eyelids. The condition is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction to something like pollen or dust mites, or the eye has come into contact with things that irritate it, such as shampoo or a loose eyelash rubbing against the eye. Symptoms include dry, sand-like feelings between the eyelids and eye, redness of the eyes and a thick discharge. Eyesight is not usually affected, except by the discharge and that can be easily cleaned with water.

      Treatment is usually unnecessary as the symptoms mostly clear up within a few weeks. If treatment is needed, it will depend on the cause.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • The symptoms that you may experience when you have pink eye include the following:

      • The white part of your eye becomes red, and this gets worse over time.
      • Your eyes get filled with tears continuously and you need to clean them from time to time.
      • You experience mild to severe itching of your eyes.
      • You may also experience some discharge of yellow-like fluid or even crusts around the affected eye.
    • What are the causes?

    • Your conjunctivitis can be caused by infection or irritation, including viruses (e.g. the kind that causes the common cold), bacteria (like those causing STIs), fungi, irritants (like shampoo, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine) or even an allergic reaction (e.g. to pollen, dust or smoke).

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • You may be at risk of developing pink eye:

      • When your eyes are exposed to materials that irritate them, such as chemicals.
      • When you are allergic to certain substances such as pollen or dust mite.
      • When you share personal items with someone who has an eye infection, such as pillows, washcloths, towels, eye drops or eye makeup.
      • When you use contact lenses for a long time and/or without properly cleaning them.

    • When to visit a doctor?

    • Pink eye will usually resolve on its own. If your symptoms do not clear within 2 weeks, see your healthcare provider. Also do so if you experience pain in your eye, sensitivity to light or blurred eyesight after wiping away any discharge.

    • How to prevent?

    • You can prevent contracting pink eye by avoiding irritants, treating the underlying cause (infections or medical conditions), practicing personal hygiene (especially handwashing with soap), wearing swimming goggles (for swimmers) and avoiding touching your face. You should not share your cosmetics and towels, to avoid contracting pink eye from someone else.

      If your pink eye is caused by the use of contact lenses, your healthcare provider can recommend another type and ask you to follow a routine that keeps your contact lenses clean.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-Care Tips:

      • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Rubbing them makes your eyes can worsen your symptoms.
      • Boil water and let it cool down before you gently wipe your eyelashes to clean off crusts. Use a clean cloth to wipe tears or discharge from your eyes.
      • If you wear contact lenses, stop using them until the symptoms are gone.

      Treatment Options:

      Treatments that your healthcare provider may prescribe include:

      • Eye drops to reduce your allergy or pain.
      • Artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to help moisten your eye when dry.
      • An antibiotic ointment or drops to cure a bacterial infection of the eye.
    • Kulawa cares

    • Pink eye can spread from one eye to the other and from person to person. If you have pink eye, it is important to wash your hand often with soap and water. Also, do not share any personal items with other people such as pillows, towels and eye makeup.