Written by: Tami, Published: 24 April 2019
Better known by its less glamourous name of ‘pink eye’, conjunctivitis is a very common eye condition that is caused by allergies or infection. To be more technical, it is whereby the conjunctiva of your eye becomes swelled or inflamed.
Generally, conjunctivitis is a not a problematic eye condition, although there are some forms that are highly contagious, spreading quickly, particularly within schools or at home. Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
The cause of the conjunctivitis eye disease is dependent on the type; infectious, allergic or chemical.
This form of the condition may occur through irritants like air pollution or acidic/alkaline materials like bleach. It is recommended that you use water to rinse the eye, and contact your doctor immediately.
ALLERGIC: If you already suffer from seasonal allergies, this form of the eye condition may be quite common, and may occur if you come into contact with the substance that aggravates your allergy. GIANT PAPILLARY CONJUNCTIVITIS: If you wear hard contact lenses, you do not replace your soft contact lenses regularly, or you have a small exposed stitch within the eye, this may also aggravate the conjunctivitis.
Keep the eyes clean: Wash your eyes with cotton balls or a paper towel regularly if you have a build-up of discharge. Ensure that you dispose of the cotton ball or paper towel appropriately, and remember to wash your hands with soap and water (double up with antibacterial gel to be safe).
If you are suffering with bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotic drops are usually prescribed, which allows for improvement after about one week. You will need to ensure that you take the full course of antibiotics to prevent the condition from reoccurring.
With viral conjunctivitis, unfortunately drops or ointments do not usually alleviate the symptoms of the disease. Like a common cold, you will need to wait for it to run its course, which could take up to a few weeks to disappear. We recommend cold compresses, however it is possible to get steroid drops if the inflammation is particularly uncomfortable.
Attempt to remove or stay clear of the irritant that is aggravating your allergic conjunctivitis. As with a viral infection, a cold compress or artificial tears is recommended to relieve your discomfort. Antihistamines are available for relief too, however if the symptoms do persist, topical steroid drops may be required.
As a preventative measure, ensure that you:
Do not touch or rub your eyes with your fingers – instead use a tissue and discard appropriately.