Conjunctivitis is also known as pinkeye which is an inflammatory condition affecting the eyes, especially the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a membrane that functions in covering the whites of the eyes and the inner surface of the eyelids. The membranes have small blood vessels that become visible when there is inflammation. The white part of the eye becomes red when infected with conjunctivitis.
Common symptoms of conjunctivitis
- There is itchiness of the eyes
- Inflammation, swelling and the white portion of the eyes becomes red
- Tearing or yellow and green discharge coming out of the eyes
- There is crusting over the eyelids and blurriness
- Increased photosensitivity
- Burning sensation can be felt
Possible causes of conjunctivitis
- Infectious conjunctivitis which can affect one or both eyes is caused by infection due to bacteria or virus. Both types of infections are very contagious that can be spread by direct contact with eye secretions or contaminated surfaces.
- Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction upon exposure to an allergen or irritant such as smoke, pollen and other substances and both eyes are usually affected.
- Non-infectious conjunctivitis can be caused by exposure to irritants such as a splash of chemical or entry of foreign objects in the eye. Flushing of the eyes in an attempt to get rid of the irritant can cause irritation and redness.
- Neonatal conjunctivitis is common among those suffering from STDs such as chlamydia and if not properly treated, it can lead to blindness.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis affects contact lens users which affects both the eyes and usually common in among individuals who utilize soft contact lens.
Treatment and home remedies for conjunctivitis
- Apply a compress to the affected eye. Soak a clean and lint-free cloth in water and wring out excess water. Apply it to over the closed eyelid of the individual for a few minutes several times every day. Using a cool water compress helps in soothing the affected eye, but a warm compress can also be used to help with the condition.
- Use a prescribed over-the-counter eye drops called artificial tears that help in relieving the symptoms. Some eye drops contain antihistamines that help with allergic conjunctivitis.
- The individual should avoid wearing contact lens until the affected eyes are totally healed.
- Wash personal belongings such as clothes frequently if suffering from allergic conjunctivitis.
- Take a bath or shower before going to bed helps with the condition.
- Maintain a well balanced diet every day, especially foods rich in vitamin A that are essential for the overall health of the eye such as green leafy vegetables, yogurt, tomatoes, papaya, butter and carrots.
Other remedies for conjunctivitis
- Apply a thin layer of potato peels over the eyelid. This helps in minimizing the swelling and inflammation.
- Prepare an Indian gooseberry juice and mix with honey. This solution is used as eyewash in order to treat conjunctivitis and must be applied at least twice every day.
- Boil some dried coriander in a cup of water and use this as an eye wash in order to treat conjunctivitis.