Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the white parts of the eyes.
Approximately 3 to 6 million individuals get this condition every year in the US.
Anyone can get it. Nevertheless, viral conjunctivitis (VC) is more common in adults, while simple bacterial conjunctivitis (BC) is especially common in children.
Only around 30 percent of primary care patients with pinkeye are confirmed to have BC; however, 80 percent are treated with antibiotics. In addition, the majority of cases in BC are self-limiting and no treatment is necessary in uncomplicated cases.
It usually affects both eyes at the same time, but this condition may start in one eye and spread to the other after 2 days.
Symptoms of Pinkeye
- painful eyes – this is common with the bacterial form;
- the feeling that something is in your eye;
- increased tear production;
- itchiness in one or both eyes;
- light sensitivity;
- swollen eyelids – particularly when the sufferer has been rubbing the eyes a lot.
This condition can be caused by viruses and bacterial infections (there are a few species of bacteria that can cause BC, such as – Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Chlamydia trachomatis, or Haemophilus species).
BC can spread to others as soon as symptoms appear and for as long as there’s discharge from the eye.
It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to air irritants, including – smoke, pollen, ingredients in cosmetics, chlorine in swimming pools, or other products which contact the eyes, like – contact lenses.
Neonatal conjunctivitis (the type of pinkeye which occurs during the first 3 weeks of a baby’s life) can be caused by an infection contracted during birth.
NC in infants should be reported to a health care specialist immediately, as it could be a vision-threatening infection.
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The contagious forms of conjunctivitis is spread by:
- wearing contact lenses that do not fit;
- not cleaning contact lenses;
- using infected eye makeup;
- using infected towels and tissues on your eyes and face;
- not washing your hands and then touching your eyes.
Spiritual Meaning Of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis indicates a conflict that you refuse to become aware of. If you feel you need to close your eyes, then look inside your being. Be honest with yourself and assume your conflict.
Look at it consciously and notice your reactions without condemning them. The solution to your problem lies within yourself.
Note – it is generally not possible to tell whether this condition is caused by viruses or harmful bacteria without laboratory tests.
Diagnosis is usually made by clinical and microscopic examination and culture of discharge from the eye.
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It is essential for a doctor to work out which kind of pinkeye it is, thus, the right treatment can be given to avoid possible complications and clear up the discomfort.
Treatment isn’t commonly required for VC since the symptoms usually resolve within a couple of weeks. You can help relieve symptoms faster by using artificial tears and applying a cold compress as recommended by your doctor.
Nevertheless, sufferers who have severe photophobia (intolerance of light) or whose vision is affected may benefit from topical corticosteroids.
For BC your healthcare specialist will usually prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments. Don’t forget that the treatment should be applied to both eyes, even if only one eye appears to be infected.
A child’s symptoms can be relieved by cleaning away any crusty discharge with clean cotton wool. To prevent spreading the infection, you should use a separate piece of cotton wool for each eye.
Start cleaning from the corner of the eye, and wipe to the outer eye.
Note – people who wear contact lenses should discontinue lens wear until symptoms have resolved.
- Wash washcloths, towels, linens, and pillowcases after use, and do not share them with others.
- Never touch your eyes without washing your hands first. Also, wash up immediately if you’ve touched an affected person’s linens, eyes, or clothes (for instance, when caring for a child who has this condition).
- If you have AC, try to keep away from whatever is causing the allergy. However, this may be difficult if you’re allergic to pollen.
- Do not share eye makeup, makeup brushes, face makeup, contact lenses, or eyeglasses.
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Recent research has concluded that individuals who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep (at least 7 hours per night) are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus.
Nevertheless, be careful not to overdo it either as too much sleep is bad for you.
For example, people who regularly sleep more than 10 hours per night may be at a higher risk for some medical conditions.
Stress caused by working long hours can affect the human body’s immune system making it less able to fight off infections.
More importantly, the effects of stress are cumulative; therefore, even ordinary activities can lead to more serious health problems.
A simple meditation practiced for at least 10 minutes per day can help you to lower your stress levels and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.
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Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin renowned for its role in boosting the immune system.
For instance, vitamin C promotes increased production of interferon which helps in forming a network that the human body uses to fight off intruders.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty Images
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Referrence https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/ http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity