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Jim Kokkinakis Optometrist talks about… What Triggers Conjunctivitis?

Determining conjunctivitis is far easier than pronouncing it.  It is […]

By Published On: 2 April 20132.8 min read

Determining conjunctivitis is far easier than pronouncing it.  It is nearly as difficult as Jim Kokkinakis!

The name may sound so complicated but it is actually what most people call as, “pink eye”. This eye ailment is experienced once the conjunctiva becomes swollen and red. The conjunctiva is the outermost part of the eye, which also includes the inner layer of the eyelids.

There are various reasons for getting conjunctivitis. Usually, this is triggered by irritation that is due to bacteria, virus or allergic reaction. Then, it leads to an infection which is the reason why there is itchiness, redness and swelling.

Types of Conjunctivitis

The different types of conjunctivitis are categorized according to the reason why it was set off. Though pink eye seems fairly the same in every case, for both children and adults, the effects can slightly vary too.

•    Viral. Virus can get to the eyes if it is present in the upper portion of the respiratory tract. Interestingly, when a person suffers from the common cold or a sore throat, this could also trigger pink eye. Sometimes not both eyes are affected right away. If only one is red and itchy, it is important not to rub the eyes so that it would not spread to the other eye. This type of conjunctivitis can be easily detected because it makes the lower eyelid turn to red.
•    Bacterial. This type is much more serious than viral because the effects can be very uncomfortable. The most obvious symptom of this eye ailment is the pus which is produced by the eyes due to pyogenic. The pus is continuously created by the eyes even during sleep. Hence, patients with this ailment find it difficult to open their eyes in the morning due to the crusting which have formed along the eyelids. Aside from that, patients with this ailment also experience a sandy feeling inside their eyes like as if there are foreign objects in it. Truth is, this is just another effect of the bacteria.
•    Chemical. The redness of the eyes for chemical conjunctivitis is usually localized to just one spot. This can be a result of hazardous occupation which entails the use of chemical products or could be an accidental splatter while cleaning. Usually, alkali chemicals result to more serious effects compared to acid burn.
•    Allergic. Other cases can be contagious once the bacteria or virus has been passed on to another person. On the other hand, if the cause is severe allergy, then this type of pink eye is not communicable. This entails extreme redness of the eyes especially on the lower eyelid portion. Aside from that, it is also coupled with watery or teary eyes.


When a person has conjunctivitis, here are the things which should be avoided:

•    Those with bacterial or viral pink eye should not mingle with others so the ailment would not spread
•    Rubbing the eyes should be prevented even if there is severe itching

•    Wear sunglasses to block the harsh light from the sun or other light sources
•    Use only eye drops or eye ointment which have been prescribed by an optometrist.

One of the very common things that Jim Kokkinakis sees in the consulting room is a patient who has been inappropriately treated with eye drops and now has a reaction to the very drops that was supposed to make them better.


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