What are the causes of infective conjunctivitis?
- Contaminated surroundings (toiletries, pillow cases, etc.)
- A chemical splash to the eye
- A contaminated foreign object in the eye
- A blocked tear duct in newborns
- Extensive use of contact lenses
- Use of contact lenses that are not thoroughly cleaned
- Using someone else’s contact lenses
Patients may also be exposed to something they are allergic to (of which the condition is known as allergic conjunctivitis). In response to allergens, the body produces immunoglobin E that triggers special cells in the mucous lining to release inflammatory substances. This causes allergy signs such as red or pink eyes. Allergy eye drops are useful in controlling most cases of allergic conjunctivitis.
How do I prevent pink eye?
You must be very careful around anybody (or yourself) who has a viral infection. This is because virus infections are highly contagious and can be contracted through infected pieces of used tissue, door handles, pillowcases, towels or even droplet spread when sneezing or coughing.
Be sure to wash your hands regularly and take extra precautions not to share any toiletries or personal eye care items. Good hygiene is critical. It is also advisable to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara.
Nurseries and schools must also alert parents of infected children and not allow these children to attend school during such times.
If you often wear contact lenses, be sure not to wear them longer than the recommended usage time and stop wearing them immediately should you notice pink eye symptoms.
What are the treatments for conjunctivitis?
To help relieve inflammation and dryness due to conjunctivitis, you can try cold compresses or apply non-steroid artificial tears/eye drops that are available from your local pharmacy.
Antibiotics are not normally prescribed for such conditions as viral infections do not respond to antibiotics. Lubricating drops may, however, be prescribed to help manage the symptoms. In some cases of severe virus infection such as simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus, anti-inflammatory steroid drops may be prescribed.
Most cases of conjunctivitis are mild. If your symptoms do not start to get better within a day, book an appointment with an Eyecentric specialists. You should also take note if you experience pain in your eyes, sensitivity to light, intense redness or have a weakened immune system due to other medical conditions and treatments.
Eyecentric at Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre (BTMC) provides various tests to ensure you do not have a serious eye infection.