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When people are asked if they have had conjunctivitis, they would most likely say no, thinking that it is some serious health problem that they would never want to experience.

Truth is, this eye ailment is very common and the usual term that is used for it is pink eye.

Pink eye triggers once the conjunctiva is infected or irritated. The conjunctiva is a part of the eye which is found within the eyelids. It is a membrane, which could swell up when it becomes infected or irritated by allergy or inflammation. Since this can be a viral or bacterial infection, the ailment can be easily passed on to others and it can spread quickly, especially among kids.

Indications of Pink Eye

When conjunctivitis strikes, it is usually accompanied by excessive tears. It is because the glands are triggered to produce more tears since this contains enzymes and antibodies which should defend the eye against bacteria. Aside from this, there are also other common symptoms like:

•    Waking up with a layer of crusted, yellow discharge which forms along the edge of the eyelids and the eyelashes
•    Eyes keep producing green or white discharge during the day
•    Extreme itchiness
•    Blurred or hazy vision
•    Grainy feeling when blinking the eyes
•    Sensitivity even to low light
•    Burning sensation when moving the direction of the eyeballs

Precaution

When the mentioned symptoms are observed, it is important NOT to self-medicate with any ordinary eye drops because this might just worsen the conjunctivitis. The optometrist has to physically examine the eye to see how severe the situation is. If in case only one eye is affected, at least it would be possible to prevent the spread of it to the other one. The optometrist might also need to swab a sample and have it tested so the specific cause can be determined. The following can trigger conjunctivitis:

•    Bacteria
•    Viruses
•    Fungi
•    Chlamydia
•    Extreme irritation due to chemicals
•    Shampoo, cigarette smoke, dirt
•    Allergens
•    Extended use of contact lens
•    Bacteria and viruses which also results to sexually transmitted diseases

Usually, doctors only recommend antibacterial or maybe eye drops which can relive the discomfort of conjunctivitis. This is an eye problem which often clears up on its own after several days. However, if the cause is related to STDs, the physician would prescribe a course of medication.

What To Do

Since conjunctivitis can easily spread if it is an infection, it is important to be extra careful if stricken with this ailment. Even if extreme itchiness is felt, it is important not to touch or rub the eyes. Refrain from mingling with other people too. Adults should not go to the office and kids must skip school. Do not wear contact lenses and make up. Wearing glasses, especially the ones with a tint would be more appropriate.

Once conjunctivitis has faded, make sure to wash all linens and pillow cases in hot water to ensure that all possible causes would not remain. Disinfecting the entire house is necessary too so that the spread of this ailment would not go on and spread to other family members.

If you suspect you have some form of conjunctivitis call us on (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK an APPOINTMENT ONLINE.  An accurate diagnosis is required so that the appropriate treatment can be applied.