Conjunctivitis is a quite unpleasant disease, but fortunately, treatment is usually quick and effective, provided that the cause has been properly recognized. Conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye diseases of diverse etiology, course, and treatment options. Conjunctivitis is an infection, or inflammation of the conjunctiva – a thin, protective membrane that forms the inner surface of the eyelids and covers a part of the eyeball. During this type of inflammation, blood vessels in this membrane strongly fill with blood, causing redness and swelling of the eye. The openings of the lacrimal glands, sebaceous and sweat glands located in the conjunctiva are responsible for the production of mucus that accompanies this disease. Due to the redness of the eye is also called the “pink eye”.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is the most common variant of the disease. It usually affects both eyes at the same time. Its symptoms include the presence of a heavy, yellow discharge, congestion and swelling of the conjunctiva, sometimes the whole eyelid. When the disease is advanced, bloodyeffusion or yellow-gray spots may appear on the eyelids.
Because this type of conjunctivitis is caused by a variety of bacteria, it is treated with antibiotic eye drops and typically resolves within 5 days. If there is concurrent inflammation of the eyelids, your eye care provider may also recommend an eyelid scrub to remove bacteria and dried mucous from the lid margin.
Inflammation of the eyelids, which is caused by viruses, occurs during severe infections of the upper respiratory tract caused by adenoviruses (especially in the fall and early winter). The virus attacks the conjunctiva first and after approx. 8 days typically takes over the cornea. Most commonly this type of infection appears in one eye, and after a few days, is transferred to the other. The most common symptoms of viral conjunctivitis isswelling of the conjunctiva, itching and a sensation of a foreign body, the appearance of mucous. On the conjunctiva clusters of swollen blood vessels can be also observed. After the virus attacks the cornea, small areas of cloudiness can be present. This is accompanied by severe pain, tearing, photophobia.
Treatment: As a treatment option your doctor may recommend a topical anti-inflammatory drop to relieve discomfort. Topical or oral anti-herpetic medications can help suppress herpes viral infections. The disease is very contagious. Can be easily transmitted by touching. Please remember that if you used eye cosmetics during infection, you should immediately throw them away, so you are not re-infected.
It usually appears accompanied by hay fever in people allergic to pollen of flowering plants. The cause may be a response to environmental agents such as chemicals, cosmetics, certain medications, dust, smoke, etc. both eyes are usually affected and patients may experience severe itching, redness, tearing and swelling of the eyelids. Other symptoms may include a fever, runny or itchy nose – typical allergic reactions.
Treatment: Depending on the severity, your eye doctor may prescribe topical drops that are effective in relieving the itching discomfort. Other treatment options include allergy drops, changing contact lens solutions.
Fungal conjunctivitis is rare, usually as a result of a long-term antibiotic treatment or the transmission of the infection from other parts of the body (genitals). Its symptoms include itching, tearing and redness of the conjunctiva. The tear ducts often present whitish deposits.
Treatment: The dosage of antifungals in the form of drops or ointment.