What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye). It is one of the most common eye diseases.
What are the symptoms of acute conjunctivitis?
Usually acute conjunctivitis begins suddenly. Patient complains about:
- Feeling of foreign body in the eye;
- Redness of the eye;
- Discharge from the eye;
- Swelling of the eyelid.
Acute conjunctivitis lasts from 3-4 days up to two weeks. Usually process occurs in both eyes - initially disease begins in one eye but after 3 to 4 days it affects also the other eye.
What are the forms of conjunctivitis?
Forms of acute conjunctivitis can be divided after aetiology into:
- Bacteria conjunctivitis;
- Viral conjunctivitis;
- Allergic conjunctivitis.
How conjunctivitis is diagnosed and treated?
Conjunctivitis can be diagnosed only clinically. Treatment is initiated without special bacteriological or virology examinations. But if acute conjunctivitis can't be cured with classic treatment methods, additional examinations are required to specify initiator of the disease. Delayed and incorrect treatment of acute conjunctivitis can turn into chronic form and torture both patient and doctor for years. In separate cases retina and deeper covers of the eyeball are involved in the process, thus creating worsening of vision.
In case of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis a routine is very important to prevent infection of other people around. Most important rules of personal hygiene:
- Do not touch your eyes with unwashed hands;
- Always wash your hands after you have touched your eyes;
- Provide regular ventilation in the premises;
- Provide regular cleaning-up of the premises, especially concentrating on the cleaning of door-handles and backrests of the chair;
- Don't put bandage on the eye because bacteria will multiply more actively in the warm, moist and closed place;
- Regularly wipe of discharges that comes from the eye with the cotton pad soaked into boiled water or strong infusion of tea.
Always contact doctor when acute conjunctivitis symptoms appear to establish diagnosis and determine treatment - usually disinfecting drops or ointments. Patient should take into consideration that frequently disregarding the started therapy, illness can progress on its own course and during the second and third day of the illness symptoms could be more explicit than during the first. If prescribed medications do not provide improvement after three - four days then therapy should be changed and additional examinations should be carried out.
How to avoid conjunctivitis?
To avoid conjunctivitis you should:
- Always wash hands before and after touching your eyes;
- Do not rub eyes;
- Do not use pillows, towels, cosmetic tools used by other people;
- Avoid contact with the patients of acute conjunctivitis;
- Before the first usage of unknown cosmetics (for example, mascara, shampoo, soaps etc.) always make sure that it does not cause allergic reactions.