By Bharti Eye Hospitals , Ophthalmology
One of the most commonly occurring eye affliction is conjunctivitis. It is essentially an infection of the front skin of the eye termed conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis usually stems from external germ attacks and is mostly contagious. It is a fairly widespread disease and its incidence is recorded more in children than in adults.
While there are obvious discomforts associated with conjunctivitis, acute pain or sparks in the eye are not likely symptoms of conjunctivitis. In case of such worrying symptoms, one must immediately consult an eye specialist. Conjunctivitis essentially entails an inflammation of the fine outer skin of the eye and one of the most conspicuous sign of conjunctivitis is redness or pinkness of the eye. Besides surface irritation, the eyes may become watery or sticky. Vision normally remains unaffected.
Pinkeye is very common. It usually is not serious and goes away in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment.
Most cases of pinkeye are caused by:
- Infections caused by viruses or bacteria.
- Dry eyes from lack of tears or exposure to wind and sun.
- Chemicals, fumes, or smoke (chemical conjunctivitis).
Sometimes chlorinated water can also give rise to conjunctivitis. It is a common disorder whose frequency increases during seasonal transitions. Avoiding contact with the infected person could be a precautionary step to follow.
Viral and bacterial pinkeye are contagious and spread very easily. Since most pinkeye is caused by viruses for which there is usually no medical treatment, preventing its spread is important. Poor hand-washing is the main cause of the spread of pinkeye. Sharing an object, such as a washcloth or towel, with a person who has pinkeye can spread the infection
Conjunctivitis is usually a benign disease which does not entail any alarming hazards. It heals on its own over time and usually requires no external treatment. One may use palliative eye drops and ointments for momentary relief. But unless the infection is severe, it does not call for any specific medical attention.