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Conjunctivitis – the most important information

Conjunctivitis can have different causes. Most often it is an allergic, bacterial or viral basis. It is characterized by itchy, red eyes and tearing. It is easy to treat and usually clears up quickly after the triggering factor has been discontinued.

Conjunctivitis – types

Depending on the factor, several types of inflammation are distinguished.

Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is most often caused by the same bacteria that causes throat or staphylococcal infections.

Conjunctivitis

Viral inflammation, on the other hand, is caused by viruses that cause colds.

Both are highly contagious and can infect a healthy person. These microbes can be easily transferred to another person, even by touch.

Allergic conjunctivitis

It is one of the most common infections. It is caused by various stimuli such as pollen, dust, feathers or hair. Allergens can make one or both eyes red. They stimulate the body to produce more histamine which causes inflammation. It is he who is responsible for the development of conjunctivitis. Allergic inflammation causes severe itching of the eyes.

Certain chemicals can also cause conjunctivitis if they get into your eyes. Chlorine in the pool water can also cause this condition. If a harmful substance causes inflammation, flush your eyes with clean water. This should ease symptoms.

Conjunctivitis – diagnosis

The diagnosis is very simple – the doctor will ask you a few questions and examine your eyes. He may ask you about the timing of your symptoms, under what circumstances they worsen, and whether you have a runny nose in addition to red eyes.

Treatment

Different treatments are adopted depending on what the inflammation is causing.

If the conjunctivitis is the result of a chemical irritation, it will most likely go away on its own within a few days. If the cause is infection with a bacterium, virus or allergen, there are several treatments.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

Antibiotics are the most common treatment for bacterial infections. For adults, they are most often administered in the form of eye drops with an antibiotic. Children are also given an antibiotic ointment because it is easier to use. The symptoms should subside fairly quickly and we will feel the difference the very next day.

Viral conjunctivitis

In this case, it is much worse because there is no targeted treatment. As with the common cold, there is no single cure, only symptomatic treatment. During viral conjunctivitis, we need to take preventive measures that will actually accelerate self-healing. Warm compresses can be applied to the eye to reduce itching and redness in the eye.

Allergic conjunctivitis

To treat allergen-induced conjunctivitis, your doctor will likely prescribe an antihistamine to stop the inflammation. You can also buy such drugs without a prescription at a pharmacy (eg Claritin). Be sure to read the package insert when buying this medicine as some of these medicines can cause you to be lethargic. You can also buy antihistamine or anti-inflammatory drops.

Home remedies

In addition to using a warm compress, you can buy eye drops at the pharmacy that mimic your own tears. They will help relieve the symptoms of conjunctivitis. It’s also a good idea not to wear contact lenses until the conjunctivitis has completely resolved.

If conjunctivitis is allergic, it is worth going to an allergist for tests, which we are allergic to. Then it is necessary to eliminate the allergic factor from our environment in order to avoid conjunctivitis.

Also, try to avoid touching your eyes with your hands and wash your hands frequently. Use clean tissues and towels (preferably disposable) to wipe your eyes.

Remember that some types of conjunctivitis can spread to other people, so be careful not to spread it during this time. e.g. a virus or bacteria to another person (e.g. when shaking hands).

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