20 Jun Top 3 Facts About Conjunctivitis
Have you ever experienced discomfort, redness, or light sensitivity in your eyes? If so, it’s possible that you might have had conjunctivitis, or pink eye. This infection affects the surface of the eye and eyelid and can be caused by a variety of factors, including contact with infected eyes or body fluids. While conjunctivitis may not result in complete vision loss, it can still cause significant discomfort and impact your overall eye health. Continue reading to learn the top 3 facts about conjunctivitis.
1. What Is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is also known as “pink eye,” due to the pinkish-red appearance that occurs when the blood vessels in the conjunctiva, which is the thin layer covering the white part of the eye, become inflamed. This inflammation can cause itching, burning sensations, and discharge from eyes which may stick together after sleep or during waking hours.
It’s essential to seek medical advice if you suspect you have conjunctivitis because some types of infection can spread easily between people through contaminated surfaces or close contact with an infected person.
2. Signs And Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis
Pink Eye: Pink eye is the most common symptom of conjunctivitis. It is called pink eye because the white part of the eye turns pink or red due to inflammation of the conjunctiva. This inflammation can be caused by bacteria, viruses, irritants, or allergies.
Eye Redness And Itching: Eye redness and itching are also common symptoms of conjunctivitis. These symptoms are usually caused by an allergic reaction to something in the environment, such as pollen or dust mites. The itching can be very intense and may lead to rubbing of the eyes, which can aggravate the condition.
Blurred Vision And Light Sensitivity: Blurred vision and light sensitivity may occur with conjunctivitis. These symptoms are usually caused by inflammation in the front part of the eye – the cornea – that affects vision. In some cases, people with conjunctivitis may experience temporary loss of vision.
Watery Eyes And Discharge: Watery eyes and watery discharge are also common signs of conjunctivitis. The discharge from infected eyes can be thick or thin depending on what is causing it. If it is bacterial conjunctivitis, then there will be a thick purulent discharge while viral causes have a thinner watery discharge.
Purulent Discharge And Discomfort: Purulent discharge and discomfort can also be symptoms of conjunctivitis. This type of discharge is thick and yellowish green in colour due to bacterial infection. It can cause crusting around eyelids when it dries up overnight leading to difficulty opening your eyes in the morning.
3. Causes Of Conjunctivitis
Bacterial Infection: Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae, infect the eye. It can spread through direct contact with contaminated hands, towels, or other objects. Bacterial conjunctivitis often causes a thick, yellow, or greenish discharge from the eyes and can affect one or both eyes.
Viral Infection: Viral conjunctivitis is usually caused by viruses, such as adenovirus, and is highly contagious. It can spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person, touching contaminated surfaces, or through swimming pools. Viral conjunctivitis typically starts in one eye and can quickly spread to the other. It may cause watery discharge, redness, and discomfort.
Allergic Reaction: Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva reacts to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or certain medications. Children with allergies are more prone to developing allergic conjunctivitis. Symptoms may include itching, redness, tearing, and swollen eyelids. It’s important to note that allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
Irritants: Exposure to irritants like smoke, chemical fumes, or chlorine in swimming pools can cause irritant conjunctivitis. This type of conjunctivitis can affect both eyes and is often accompanied by redness, itching, and a burning sensation. It is important to rinse the eyes thoroughly if an irritant comes into contact with them.
If you suspect your child has conjunctivitis, it’s important to talk to a professional, so they can recommend appropriate treatment options. Remember, when it comes to maintaining the health of your children’s eyes, practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding touching the eyes with the hands, are important to avoid further damage. To book an appointment at Dr D’Orio Eyecare, visit https://drdorioeyecare.com/book-appointment/ or call us at 416-656-2020 for our Toronto location, or 416-661-5555 for our North York location.