Conjunctivitis


Eye Infections & Inflammations: Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common diseases of the anterior part of the eye. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent mucosa that covers the anterior portion of the eyeball, with the exception of the cornea, and the inner wall of the lower and upper eyelids, until the eyelid margin.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by 1) biological agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites); 2) by physical agents (e.g. Ultraviolet radiation or thermal radiation); 3) by chemical agents (e.g. cosmetics or drugs);
by environmental factors (e.g. smoke or dust).

There are also allergic conjunctivitis and/or immune-mediated ones and conjunctivitis due to an alteration of the tear film.

Symptoms

The most common forms of conjunctivitis are of bacterial origin and are characterised by: redness; burning sensation; itching or sense of foreign body; tearing more or less abundant; photophobia (discomfort towards the light); yellow/whitish purulent secretions.

Treatment

The treatment of conjunctivitis involves the instillation of antibiotic eye drops, whose indication and dosage must be strictly prescribed by an ophthalmologist. Self-medication in these cases may prolong and/or make difficult to resolve a pathology that can be cured.

Keep in mind that conjunctivitis is contagious and, therefore, the patient who is affected must follow some important hygiene measures:

    Avoid rubbing eyes;
    Wash hands thoroughly and often;
    Remove purulent secretions with sterile wipes;
    Use a personal towel;
    Avoid using cosmetics around the eyes

It is recommended to protect the eyes from wind and light with sunglasses.
 
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