What Is Conjunctivitis?
Redness or inflammation in the area under the eyelid and the eye’s white area is called conjunctivitis. It may be caused by physical agents such as ultraviolet rays or infrared rays, allergic reactions, or an infection.
Conjunctiva, which is a delicate and thin membrane covering the eyeball, and lining the eye lid, gets inflamed resulting in conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a prevalent eye issue due to the continuous exposure of conjunctiva to the environmental agents, and microorganism, which may cause allergic reactions or infections. Conjunctivitis can either be chronic, or acute. It depends on the duration, type of agent or organism involved, and symptom of the disease. Either one or both the eyes can get affected if it is caused by an infection. Even it easily gets transmitted if other people come in contact with an infected person. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Other names famous for conjunctivitis are a red eye or pink eye.
What Are The Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis?
Symptoms or signs of conjunctivitis differ on the basis of the factor responsible for it: Certain symptoms may be:
- Eyes become red or pink.
- White or green sticky discharge may ooze out from the eyes.
- Vision may get blurred.
- Inflammation is caused in the eyes.
- Eyes may feel a burning sensation.
- Eyes may become more sensitive to light.
- Itchiness may be felt in the eyes.
- Tear flow from the eyes increases and one may a have watery eyes all the time.
- Feeling of grittiness may be felt all the time in the eyes.
- Eyelashes may feel sticky after one wakes up.
- Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the ears.
- Pain or burning sensation may be felt.
- A sore throat and fever may be caused in the case of viral conjunctivitis.
What Are The Causes Of Conjunctivitis?
There can be various reasons that may cause conjunctivitis. These factors can be as follows:
- Bacterial conjunctivitis: In bacterial conjunctivitis, if one gets affected, then the infection may spread to another eye. It may be caused by certain bacteria, which are such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza, and Staphylococcus aureus.
- Viral infection: It may be experienced in either one or both the eyes. It is an extremely contagious infection, which can be caused by airborne viruses. These viruses may get spread through coughing or sneezing.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Certain Sexually transmitted diseases, which include chlamydia and gonorrhoea may result in Conjunctivitis knows as chlamydial and gonococcal conjunctivitis respectively. This may be transferred from one partner to another while copulating.
- Neonatal conjunctivitis: A newly born baby might get affected by conjunctivitis while passing through infected mother’s birth canal. A type of chlamydial infection known as trachoma is the cause of eye’s surface scarring. The leading reason of preventable blindness is the trachoma.
- Irritants: Conjunctivitis may be caused by Irritants, which may be like loose eyelashes, fumes, smoke, shampoo, and swimming pool’ chlorinated water.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis: This can be caused by certain irritants like pet dander, dust mites, or pollen.
- Contact Dermato Conjunctivitis: This type of conjunctivitis may be caused by makeup products, certain chemicals, or contact lenses.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis: It may be caused by eye stitches from an eye surgery, and things that come in contact with eyes during the surgery.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Conjunctivitis?
Tips to follow while suffering from conjunctivitis are as follows:
- Cover One’s nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing: An infected person must keep his/her mouth and nose cover during coughing and sneezing. Doing so may prevent the fluid discharge from nose and mouth of an infected person to come in contact with a healthy person. This then transfers the infection from infected person to the healthy one.
- Keep the eyes clean: There is a fluid discharge during conjunctivitis. This discharge is contagious and can transmit the infection from one person to another. Hence it is essential to clean the discharge time to time with a clean wet cloth, cotton, or a tissue paper. After using these things make sure to dispose them off safely. If not disposed of, they might spread infection when comes in contact with healthy people.
- Keep washing hands repeatedly: One should wash his/her hands frequently if suffering from Conjunctivitis. Doing this helps to wash away the germs which reduce the risk of transfer from touching the infected person. If not washing, then keep a hand sanitizer with oneself to keep sanitizing the hands repeatedly. One must sanitize his/her hands before touching objects of daily use like door knobs, laptop, remote control, mobile phones etc.
- Wear Sunglasses: A must tip to follow when suffering from conjunctivitis is keeping the sunglasses on. Because during conjunctivitis one’s eyes become extremely sensitive to certain factors like sun light, wind, dust, fumes, smoke, etc. Also, keep cleaning the sunglasses time to time to keep it germ-free.
- Maintain hygiene and a healthy distance from others: Hygiene maintenance is important, so that the infection does not spread to one’s family members, and loved ones. Keep oneself away from public places like school, college, work place, etc.
- Lie on the affected side: Doing this may prevent discharge coming in contact with an unaffected eye and reduces the chances of infecting the healthy eye.
- Wash one’s belongings separately: Items used by the infected person like clothes, handkerchief, towel etc. must be cleaned separately using the clothes disinfectant in hot water to kill infection causing microbes.
- Warm or cold compress must be used: One must apply warm compress on infection-based conjunctivitis and cold compress when the conjunctivitis is caused by an irritant or an allergic reaction.
- Keep oneself refrained from smoke, dust, and other irritants as eyes are sensitive during conjunctivitis.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Conjunctivitis?
One must take care to avoid following things while suffering from conjunctivitis:
- Do not rub or touch the affected eye: Rubbing and touching the infected eye may worsen the condition and symptoms of conjunctivitis. It may cause inflammation and irritation to increase.
- Do not cover the infected eye with an eye pad, as warmth worsen the problem. Use dark glasses instead.
- Do not let others use one’s personal belongings: Anything that is used by the patient of conjunctivitis should not come in contact with other. As it may consist of germs. One must stop sharing items like a towel, eye drops, eye makeup products, sunglasses, etc. if suffering from conjunctivitis. Even if one comes in contact with the belongings of an infected person, then he/she must sanitize their hands with antiseptic soap and warm water.
What Are The Best Foods For Conjunctivitis?
It is important to consume a healthy diet during the conjunctivitis infection; some of the healthy foods to eat during pink eyes are as follows:
- Beta Carotene rich foods: Beta carotenoid has elements that may help to promote eye health and eyesight issues. Hence, Consuming beta carotenoid rich diet is a good option to eliminate conjunctivitis symptoms. Some of the foods that are rich in beta carotenoid are yellow and orange vegetables and fruits like yellow yam, carrots, oranges, pumpkins, and squash.
- Fresh fruits and juices: Including lots of fresh fruits and juices may help to fight against conjunctivitis. As it helps to clear the toxins from the body, which eliminate the conjunctivitis elements. Some of the fruits that one can consume in order to pacify conjunctivitis symptoms are grapes, grapefruit, pineapples, pears, oranges, and apples. In this list of fruits, banana is not added, as it is not advised to consume banana when one is suffering from conjunctivitis. By eating these fruits and drinking their juices body’s immune system gets stronger, which helps to curb infection.
- Vitamin A and B2: Both of these vitamins are beneficial in the cure of conjunctivitis. Hence, the patients suffering from conjunctivitis should consume a rich amount of natural foods high in vitamin A and vitamin B2. Certain foods that may be consumed during conjunctivitis rich in vitamin A and vitamin B2 are tomatoes, citrus fruits, almonds, milk, and green leafy vegetables.
- Bilberries: Bilberries are quite similar to blueberries, but bilberries are of darker blue shade, which signifies the presence of anthocyanin in them. Anthocyanin is highly beneficial for health and it also contributes in fighting against inflammation of eyes.
- Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon: Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon consists of ample amount of omega 3, which is a healthy kind of fat. It is accompanied by many benefits of health throughout one’s body. Especially for one’s eyes, omega-3 may help in lowering the hazard of macular degeneration approx. by 60%. Along with this, omega-3 can help to avoid inflammation, which may be helpful in battling against conjunctivitis.
- Eggs: Eggs are excellent for the health of eyes. Among the many nutrients these pack in them, the ones best for the eyes are zinc, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A. To protect the cornea of the eye, vitamin A present in eggs is prudent. Besides that, zeaxanthin and lutein help in lowering the chances of severe eye disorders such as cataract and macular degradation related to age. Zinc present in the egg also provides the eye retina with more health and better vision during the night.
- Yogurt: Eating yoghurt is beneficial for conjunctivitis because of the presence of the acidophilus. Acidophilus has properties of fighting with bacteria. One can consume a ½ cup of yoghurt thrice daily for the better results.
What Are The Worst Foods For Conjunctivitis?
Some of the bad foods for curing conjunctivitis patients are as follows:
- Starch containing foods: Conjunctivitis patient must avoid a huge intake of sugar and starch rich foods, as it may worsen the inflammation caused by conjunctivitis. Some of the sugar and starch comprised foods are jams, cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, puddings, doughnut, pancakes, potatoes, refined cereals, white bread, canned fruits, and syrups.
- Spicy foods: consumption of spicy foods may delay the process of healing the infection caused by conjunctivitis. Also, spicy foods may promote the inflammation in the eyes during conjunctivitis. Some of the spicy foods that must be avoided by conjunctivitis patients are spicy curry, pickles, and Schezwan sauce.
What Are The Medicines For Conjunctivitis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Conjunctivitis?
- One can put a cold compress on his/her eyes if suffering from allergic conjunctivitis.
- One should try staying indoors to avoid spreading the infection to others.
- Rubbing eyes is strictly not allowed in conjunctivitis.
- Certain natural treatments for conjunctivitis are as followed:
- Holy Basil: Holy basil has healing properties. It strengthens one’s immune system, which helps to fight the infection. It also has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which shields the eyes against free radicals, and environmental factors. Holy basil can also fight with fungal eye infections, bacteria and virus infections.
- One can add basil leaves to the boiling water for about 10 minutes. This water containing basil leaves can be used to wash eyes, also one can dip wash cloth or cotton pads in basil water, which may help to clean the eyes.
- Green Tea: Green tea is full of antioxidants and bioflavonoids. Hence, green tea helps to relieve inflammation, and irritation caused due to conjunctivitis by fighting against viral and bacterial infection.
- One tea bag of a green tea can be soaked in a boiling water and let the tea cool down to the room temperature. Now, use the green tea to wash the infected eye or it can also be used as a compress to provide warmth by dipping a cotton pad in green tea.
- A gel made of Aloe Vera leaves: Elements present in a gel made of Aloe vera like emodin have antiviral and anti-bacterial properties. Hence, Aloe vera helps to fight the conjunctivitis infection. Also, Aloe vera helps to decrease the inflammation caused by conjunctivitis infection, and increase the healing rate. One can use Aloe vera gel around the eyelid and eyes, as soon as the symptoms of pink eye or conjunctivitis are noticed.
- Once the signs of conjunctivitis are noticed, put aloe gel near the eyelids and eyes. Some of the eye drops also consist of Aloe Vera gel, to reduce inflammation and some other eye issues.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is well known for its healing abilities. It also diminishes the inflammation; hence it works effectively in conjunctivitis and reduces the symptoms efficiently.
- 2 tbsp of powdered turmeric can be boiled in a cup of water. Then, a clean wash cloth or cotton pad can be dipped in the turmeric water and can be applied on the infected eye. It helps to relieve the symptoms to a great extent.
- Oil made from Indian lilac (Neem Oil): Indian lilac has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics that help to aid the conjunctivitis symptoms. Gently dab the Indian lilac oil near the eyelid and eyes to relieve the conjunctivitis symptoms.
Please consult a doctor before opting for any of these natural treatments for conjunctivitis.