What is conjunctivitis and what should I do about it?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin, transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. It can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infections, allergies, or irritants.

The symptoms of conjunctivitis may include redness in the white part of the eye, itching or burning sensation, excessive tearing, discharge from the eye (which can be watery or thick and yellowish), and crusting of the eyelids or lashes.

If you suspect you have conjunctivitis, here are some steps you can take:

1. Practise good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before and after touching your eyes. Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes to prevent further irritation or spreading the infection.

2. Avoid contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to switch to glasses temporarily until the conjunctivitis clears up. Contact lenses can exacerbate the condition and prolong the healing process.

3. Use artificial tears: Over-the-counter artificial tear drops or lubricating eye drops can help relieve dryness and discomfort associated with conjunctivitis. Make sure to choose preservative-free drops and follow the instructions on the packaging.

4. Apply warm compresses: Placing a clean, warm compress on your closed eyelids can help soothe the eyes and reduce any crusting or stickiness. Ensure the compress is not too hot to avoid burning the delicate eye area.

5. Seek medical advice: If your symptoms worsen, persist for more than a few days, or if you experience severe pain, sensitivity to light, or changes in vision, it is important to consult an optician or ophthalmologist. They can determine the underlying cause of conjunctivitis and prescribe appropriate treatment, such as antibiotic eye drops for bacterial conjunctivitis or antihistamine eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis.

It is worth noting that viral conjunctivitis, which is the most common form, usually resolves on its own within a week or two without specific treatment. However, taking the aforementioned steps can help alleviate symptoms and prevent the spread of infection.

Remember to prioritise eye hygiene and seek professional advice when needed. Take care of your eyes and maintain good eye health!
#Conjunctivitis #EyeHealth #PinkEye

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