WHAT IS PINK EYE?
Pink Eye is an infection that affects the membrane that covers the white of our eyes and inside of your eyelid (Conjunctiva). Hence it also called as Conjunctivitis. It can happen to one or both eyes. The membrane gets inflammation. The blood vessels in white eyes dilate (enlarge), hence it becomes red. That’s why conjunctivitis is sometimes called as Red eye or pink eye. Anyone can get pink eyes, but office workers, factory workers, school teachers & children or any other person who works in a group are at high risk because of contagious disease.
Pink Eye is a non-serious condition but can be uncomfortable and irritating. Usually, it starts with one eye and spread to other in a day one or two. If you wear contact lenses, remove your lenses and wear only your glasses until your eye doctor has permitted you to wear it.
PINK EYE: THE CAUSES | SYMPTOMS | TREATMENT
The primary types of Pink eyes based on causes are:
Viral Conjunctivitis is caused by adenovirus and sometimes associated with common cold. This type of Conjunctivitis is so contagious that it spread very rapidly among people. The Viral Red-eyes clears up on its own without medical treatment after running its course over a period of several days.
- Viral Conjunctivitis is characterized by watery eyes and redness.
- The inflammation (swelling) occurs in eyelids (conjunctiva) or white of the eye.
- Itchiness, gritty, uncomfortable feelings in both eyes.
- A person sometimes feels a sensation of something in the eye.
- Excessive tears.
- Sensitivity to bright light.
- Hazy vision may occur over a week or more if spread till cornea.
In most cases, Viral pink eye clears up on its own after running its course over a period of one or two weeks. No medical treatment is required or indicated. For symptomatic relief, a lubricant can be used for comfort. For pain relief, oral Paracetamol or Ibuprofen or combined tablet can be used.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis is an infection caused by bacteria. The Bacteria flare up by person’s own skin or caught from another person (contagious). Usually, it affects both eyes. The patient feels gritty eyes with sticky discharge. Eyelids may stuck together, especially in morning.
Some common symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye:
- Eye discharge
- Eye Pain
- Eye redness
- Itching eye
- Swollen eyelid
- Sinus congestion
PINK EYE DROPS:
As treatment patient should clean the eyes by cotton wool with cooled boiled water. After than some broad spectrum antibiotic (Ofloxacin eye drops) can be used under the consultation of a doctor. Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness. Doses For Pink eye: Adults and children 1 year of age and older—Use 1 drop in the affected eye every two to four hours for two to three days. Although bacterial conjunctivitis can cover up on its own these eye drops may increase the efficacy of treatment.
Allergic Conjunctivitis is more common to those people who frequently affected by allergens (a thing or substance that cause allergy) e.g.- dust mites, pollens, cosmetics, etc. Symptoms are- Watery, burning & itchy eyes, runny nose, and brightness sensitivity. Both eyes are affected and not contagious. These symptoms may occur at particular times of the year e.g. springs or summer.
Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated using antihistamine drops such as Cetirizine/ levocetirizine/ fexofenadine eye drop(e.g. – Histafree Eye drop).
Doses: <2 years: Safety and efficacy not established
≥2 years: Instil 1 drop in each affected eye BID (8 hr apart)
these drops need to be used for a week to get any result.
PINK EYE: PRECAUTION AND PREVENTION
Since in most of the cases pink eye is contagious, hygiene must be the case of concern
- Regular hand and face washing
- No sharing of towel, tissues, and handkerchiefs
- Change pillow covers frequently
- Do not rub the eyes
- Do not share cosmetics
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid schooling and other public places
- keep hand sanitizer and use it frequently
- Frequently clean surfaces like tap handles, bathroom vanities and shared phones with antiseptic cleaner
- Avoid using contact lenses
- Dispose of any antibiotic/ Antihistamine eye drops after the treatment is over
WHEN TO CALL A DOCTOR
If you have more than above symptoms or the treatment given is not responded, see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).