Conjunctivitis: types, symptoms, medication
Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory disease of the conjunctiva. It is a transparent mucous membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and the inner part of the eyelid. The conjunctiva contains small blood vessels that appear in the form of thin red lines on the sclera, and when they are inflamed, red spots appear in the eye. Conjunctivitis is usually a benign neoplasm that does not affect vision, but in the absence of proper treatment can cause complications.
Causes of conjunctivitis
Children are most prone to illness because it is challenging to keep track of the cleanliness of their hands and adherence to the rules of hygiene. In addition, the cause of conjunctivitis in children may be allergies, hypovitaminosis of various etiologies, inflammatory processes in the nasopharynx.
Conjunctivitis in adults is more allergic. It is the result of exposure to various chemical provocations that act as an allergen. Also, working in dusty rooms can cause infectious or allergic-type conjunctivitis. The disease can manifest itself in several eye diseases, metabolic disorders, pathological processes.
There are several types of conjunctivitis. Depending on the reasons of origin, allergic, bacterial and viral forms of the disease are distinguished.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis
Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are redness of the eyes and lacrimation, oedema of the eyelids. Usually, with an allergic form of the disease, both eyes are affected at once. And there is a seasonal dependence of the disease. Besides, the use of various cosmetics or work with harmful factors causes the exacerbation of the disease. Staphylococci and streptococci cause a bacterial form of the disease. The symptom of this is the separation of fluid from the eyes.
Viral conjunctivitis is a consequence of viral infection and weakening of the immune system. The symptoms of viral conjunctivitis are similar to those of the bacterial form of the disease. Most often, viral conjunctivitis is observed against various adenoviral infections.
How is conjunctivitis treated?
There is currently no effective treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Moisturizing drops are usually used to relieve discomfort (eye drops, ointments, saline rinsing). Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to improve symptoms, broad-spectrum antibiotics in eye drops, or ophthalmic balms – to prevent bacterial infection. Although this does not reduce the rapid spread of the disease or the duration of symptoms. When the cause is a herpes virus, specific antiviral treatment is required.
In this case, the treatment is carried out with broad-spectrum antibiotics in the form of eye drops or creams.
What precautions should be taken
- It is mandatory to adhere to strict hand hygiene rules. Specialists do not recommend to use a single towel. Try to avoid close physical contact with patients with conjunctivitis.
- Do not rub your eyes as the disease can quickly spread from one eye to the other.
- Throw away any open eye drops after treatment is complete.
- Allocate personal utensils and hygiene items to the patient separately from other family members (toys, cosmetics, cutlery, towels, glasses).
- Avoid patient involvement in public events or high-traffic areas (schools, kindergartens, offices, gyms, swimming pools).
- Avoid physical contact with the patient. When this is not possible, wash your hands after contact and do not touch your eyes with your hands or potentially infected objects.