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Conjunctivitis: Causes & Treatment


Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that cover the inner surface of the eyelids and part of front surface of the eyes. [1] .
Conjunctivitis cases are being reported in Kolkata, West Bengal due to the extreme summer heat and dust. Cases of highly contagious viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis are on the rise.

What Causes Conjunctivitis
Bacteria [2]
Reaction to eye drops
Fungi and parasites
Allergic reaction to pollen, dust, or smoke [3]
Chemical irritants caused by shampoos or chlorine found in swimming pools

Conjunctivitis Causes In Newborns [4]
Conjunctivitis is common among newborn babies and it occurs due to irritation, infection, or a blocked tear duct. If it is bacterial conjunctivitis due to Chlamydia, the symptoms appear 5 to 12 days after delivery and if it’s due to gonorrhoea, the symptoms show up after 2 to 4 days.

If conjunctivitis occurs due to an eyedrop reaction given at birth, the symptoms appear after 24 to 36 hours.

Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis

Redness in one or both eyes
Tears coming out from the eyes
Itchiness in one or both eyes
Gritty feeling in your eyes
A watery discharge in your eyes during the night

Treatment Of Conjunctivitis
Bacterial conjunctivitis –
If it is bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics are prescribed. Adults are given eyedrops and children are given ointments. With the use of antibiotics, the symptoms disappear within a few days.
Viral conjunctivitis –
There is no treatment available and usually the symptoms go away on its own in 7 to 10 days. If viral conjunctivitis is caused by the herpes simplex virus, antiviral medications are prescribed.
Allergic conjunctivitis –
The doctor may give you antihistamine or anti-inflammatory eyedrops that will control allergic reactions and inflammation. Over-the-counter antihistamine medicines including loratadine and diphenhydramine can also help your allergic symptoms.