Pink Eye

hospital in Virugambakkam

The number of patients with pink or red eyes is on the rise in this season and many people have lots of questions regarding that. This blog is to explain some of the facts related to the red eye.

Red eye or conjunctivitis is due to inflammation of the thin, transparent outer layer of the eye ball called conjunctiva.The blood vessels on the surface of the eye are congested because of inflammation resulting from infection giving rise to the pink or red appearance.

Redness in the eye doesn’t mean that it is infection always. Redness could also be due to allergy, dry eyes, contact lens over use. Sometimes bleeding beneath the conjunctiva called sub conjunctival haemorrhage due to multiple reasons cause a bright red eye and it is not conjunctivitis or infectious in nature.

hospital in Virugambakkam

Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by viral infection but other micro organisms like bacteria can also cause infection. Very often it follows an upper respiratory infection with symptoms of cough, sore throat or mild fever. It usually starts in one eye and within the next few days the other eye can also get affected. As it is contagious, the infection can spread to another person by direct contact or through fomites like face towel, tumblers, currency notes etc.

The common symptoms include redness, watering, pain or discomfort in the affected eye. Sometimes blurring of vision or pain while looking at the light called photophobia can occur after about 10 days to two weeks which indicates that the cornea is also involved. It is advisable to avoid touching eyes and or face needlessly. Some people habitually touch or rub their eyes frequently which increase the chances of spread of infection. It is always advisable to wash hands frequently, especially after coming back home from outside. Avoid close contact with any person that is suspected of having an infection.

hospital in Virugambakkam

The infection takes few days to settle and during that time keep washing eyes with clean cold water. It helps to clear the derbies and prevent mucus collection. Cold compress gives some relief from the pain and discomfort. Topical drops helps to give more relief and may hasten the recovery. It is better to consult an eye specialist for a slit lamp examination to confirm the diagnosis and prescription medicines. Oral tablets and injections are not necessary for conjunctivitis.

Many people go about doing their routine even after getting the infection. Going to school or office is better avoided for a week as the infection easily spreads from one person to another. Reading or working in the computer for a couple of hours from home can be done instead of going to work places. If contact lenses are worn, it is best to stop wearing the lenses till the infection clears off completely. It is better not to share things like towel or utensils with others at home to prevent the spread of infection. Parents have to be extra careful not to bring the kids too close to their faces, touching or kissing them.

hospital in Virugambakkam

Most often the infection settles down without any sequele. But when the cornea gets affected as mentioned earlier it can leave small white scars in the cornea. If the scars are in the periphery they do not cause any symptoms. On the other hand when the scars are present at the center of the cornea, they can cause hazy vision, glare etc which might take weeks to months to clear. It is advisable to consult a cornea specialist for a proper advice and treatment.

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