Conjunctivitis or Pink eye is mainly an airborne disease spread through sneezing or coughing. Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a clear mucus membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.
Viral conjunctivitis is often connected with an infection of the upper respiratory tract, a common cold. Its symptoms include watery discharge, itching and a slight irritation. The infection usually begins with one eye, but may spread easily to the other.
Symptoms of Pink eye are:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Blurred vision and light sensitivity
- Itchiness in one or both eyes
- Discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust at night
- Excessive tearing
- Gritty feeling in one or both eyes
Viral conjunctivitis is connected with upper respiratory infections and colds. It normally affects only one eye, but can affect both eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is more common in children and tends to be much more infectious than the bacterial type. Viral conjunctivitis is connected more as true "pink eye."
There are many types of conjunctivitis, so it is essential to consult with an eye doctor to determine the appropriate treatment. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye-drops if the infection is bacterial, and the infection should clear within several days. Antibiotic eye ointment, in place of eyedrops, is sometimes prescribed for treating bacterial pink eye in children. Viral conjunctivitis cannot be treated with antibiotic eyedrops or ointment. Like the common cold, over-the-counter remedies may relieve some symptoms, but the virus will have to run its course.
The allergic form of conjunctivitis is caused by a reaction to an allergen, such as pollen, or a foreign substance. Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and causes itching and redness in the eyes and sometimes the nose (much like allergy symptoms). The eyes may also appear swollen and tear excessively. In severe cases, the conjunctiva may appear blister-like. The eyes may also have a white, stringy mucus discharge. Allergic conjunctivitis is common in people who have other signs of allergic disease, such as hay fever, asthma and eczema. The conjuctivitis is often caused by antigens like pollen, dust mites or cosmetics.Anti-inflammatory medications, Antihistamine medication and anti-allergy eye drops can help relieve symptoms.Usually, pinkeye is a self-limited disease, either clearing up on its own or after a course of antibiotics.