There are many causes of conjunctivitis such as:
- Infection caused by a virus or bacteria.
- Viral infection can also result in fever and sore throat.
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases that can be a cause.
- Agents that cause irritation such as chemical fumes, smoke, shampoo, swimming pool chlorine or even an eyelash.
- Allergies caused by pet dander, dust and pollen can also cause perpetual and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
- It can also be caused by different kinds of makeup or chemicals that come into contact with the skin.
- Wearing and keeping contact lenses on for long periods.
- Stitches during optical surgery can also be a cause.
Some people who are more likely to get conjunctivitis are:
- Anyone in close proximity to another person who is already suffering from conjunctivitis. The infection is quite easy to spread, hence one must be cautious by washing hands frequently and using own towels and handkerchiefs. Commuting by public transport should also be avoided.
- Elderly people are also vulnerable to the infection because their immune systems are weaker.
- Young children can easily contract the infection from another child because they are usually in close proximity while playing or at school.
- Anyone who had a recent episode of cough, cold or chest congestion.
- A person who has diabetes or other metabolic condition is vulnerable.
- Anyone prescribed with corticosteroids is also susceptible.
Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease or infection. It can be very easily transmitted from one person to another, so the experts recommend that the person who is already infected should keep away from other people as much as possible. As mentioned above, conjunctivitis is much more of an infection than a disease. It affects the human eye and most commonly the eye can turn red and sore. But then again, how can we be sure that we have conjunctivitis? After long hours of sleeping or long hours without sleep, our eyes turn red very easily. That does not mean that we have conjunctivitis. In order to be certain of the disease, we have to know its symptoms. The most common symptoms of conjunctivitis are:
- The white part of the eye turns red and the eye becomes dry. These are the two symptoms that qualify as one because they come in a package. When you see that your eye has turned red and there is real discomfort and dryness in the eye, then you are being infected with conjunctivitis. The most important thing is not to panic. There is nothing you can do, so scratching your eyes and washing them rapidly will only make things worse. Stay calm and visit your doctor as soon as possible.
- The eye will produce much more tears than usual. We all know that the eye produces tears (even when we are not crying) in order to clean it. Sometimes eyes produce tears when there is a little bug or an eyebrow stuck in it, or even when shampoo goes in accidentally. That same sensation is felt when the eye is infected with conjunctivitis. Therefore, if you experience that discomfort with no obstructions as mentioned above, it could certainly be conjunctivitis.
- The appearance of yellow crusty dried mucus from the eyes. This happens almost every time after sleeping. But if you are affected with conjunctivitis, this dried mucus will be stuck in the eyes and you will find it very difficult to open them. There is no need to panic because you can use a tea of chamomile to moisten the eyes. After a few minutes, you will be able to open them, and then visit a doctor for proper treatment.
- You will be able to see a green or white discharge from the eyes. Every time your eyes produce a tear, you might want to watch it carefully as there is a chance to see a green or white discharge from it. If you see this kind of liquid, then it is more than sure that you are being infected with conjunctivitis.
- If you feel that your eyes have become itchier than before, it means that you may have conjunctivitis. Look in the mirror and wash your hands. Then open your itchy eye carefully. If it has turned red, then do not try to wash it because this will not help. Visit your doctor as soon as you can for proper treatment.
- If you feel an intense burning or a hot sensation in your eye and your vision has become blurred, then you are suffering from conjunctivitis. These symptoms are very common for this infection.
- The eyes will become very sensitive to light. This is also a common symptom of conjunctivitis. Every time you try to go out in daylight, your eyes will become sensitive to light. The light will make your eye itchier, drier and red.
These are the symptoms that are most common for conjunctivitis. It is very important to remember that you do not have to panic. If you find or feel any of the above symptoms, visit a doctor. With proper treatment you will be able to get through this infection in a couple of days or weeks, depending on when the condition was discovered.
By undergoing correct treatment the patient will be able to manage their symptoms and suffering. But repeated exposure to causative factors will most likely trigger the infection again. It can be an uphill task to totally stay away from the environmental elements which can cause conjunctivitis. The easiest way would be to limit the exposure to all these factors. One can lessen the exposure of dust, pollen and strong perfumes by using mild detergents and plant based air fresheners. You may also think about using an air purifier at home.