Conjunctiva is the thin mucus membrane covering the whites of the eyes and inner parts of eyelids. This membrane is highly sensitive to the entire allergy causing agents, bacterial and viral infections. When this thin layer gets infected by any such agent, it turns pink and hence known as pink eye. The disease is highly contagious in nature, though it’s common in kids but occurs in adults as well.
Pink Eye categorized
This is categorized under non-infectious and infectious conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis: Potential causes include allergic reactions due to seasonal pollens, dust particles and animal dander. Immune system reacts to all the incompatible substances and the reaction appear in the form of pink inflammation in the eye.
Sub conjunctival hemorrhage: Sometimes eyes can turn bright red due to rupturing of tiny blood vessels that covers the white portion of the eye. This condition is not generally accompanied with the inflammation like in the normal pink eye. This occurs due to prolonged underwater diving, vomiting. This is least harmful of all the non-infectious conjunctivitis.
Chemical conjunctivitis: This occurs when any harmful chemical material like spray, smoke, pollutants and household cleaners enters into the eye.
Viral conjunctivitis: This is the leading cause of pink eye. Adenovirus is the most common virus responsible for the infection. It is often associated with common cold and infection of respiratory tract. The symptoms include watering and severe itching of the eye. It is highly contagious and can easily spread from one eye to another.
Bacterial conjunctivitis: This is due to the infection caused by pus producing bacteria which causes stickiness in the eye especially after sleeping. The symptoms are swelling of one part of eye and yellowish discharge from eyes. Also caused by Staphylococcus.
Symptoms of Pink Eye(Conjunctivitis)
- Severe Pain
- Photo phobia
- Swelling and itching
- Yellowish discharge
- Redness in the eye
Diagnosis Pink Eye(Conjunctivitis)
The eye specialist will diagnose pink eye with eye examination on the basis of symptoms like inflammation, swelling and itching in the eye. If there is yellowish discharge then it’s due to bacterial infection and less infected pink eye indicate viral infection. Unbearable severe itching indicates allergic conjunctivitis. Some additional symptoms like pain in the eye and light phobia also indicates this disease.
How can you prevent the spread of pink eye?
Pink eye categorized under infectious, is extremely contagious and spreads by direct contact. It starts from one eye and spreads to the other frequently. In order to prevent this you should avoid contact with infected people, avoid touching eye and wash hands with antibacterial soaps. Doctors always recommend to not to share handkerchiefs and towels.
Natural and Chemical treatments of pink eye
Treatments of pink eye vary depending upon what has caused this condition whether it has viral origin, bacterial origin or allergic origin.
Even the home remedies work very well to treat this ailment. Some of them are:
Because of being an antiseptic this works well for viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. This is mostly used as eye drops and sometimes with hot cloth too.
Milk and honey
Mixture of milk and honey is used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. To prepare an eyewash solution, add equal amount of honey to the properly boiled milk. This can be used as eyewash after it cools down to the normal temperature.
Apple cider vinegar and cabbage leaves
The mixture of these ingredients can be used as a cure for pink eye by mixing one part of vinegar in ten parts of water. Washing eyes with this solution twice a day will prove highly beneficial for pink eye. Cabbage leaves are used due to their antioxidant property.
Ice pack method is a very old method known to reduce redness and pain. This cannot do much about the pain and irritation but heals the redness.
Hot cloth compression
Put a few drops of lavender oil on hot cloth and treat the infected area by compressing this cloth on the eye.
Medical treatments for conjunctivitis differ, like there are different antibiotics for bacterial pink eye, viral pink eye and allergic pink eye. Allergic treatments mainly includes eye drops to treat it.