Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis, often called “pink eye,” is a common eye disease, especially in children. It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.
Conjunctivitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to irritants in the air like pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhea are less common causes of conjunctivitis.
People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms:
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Discharge coming from one or both eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Allergic Conjunctivitis occurs more commonly among people who already have seasonal allergies. At some point they come into contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction in their eyes.
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is a type of allergic conjunctivitis caused by the chronic presence of a foreign body in the eye. This condition occurs predominantly with people who wear hard or rigid contact lenses, wear soft contact lenses that are not replaced frequently, have an exposed suture on the surface or the eye, or have a glass eye.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis is an infection most often caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria from your own skin or respiratory system. Infection can also occur by transmittal from insects, physical contact with other people, poor hygiene (touching the eye with unclean hands), or by use of contaminated eye makeup and facial lotions.
- Viral Conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by contagious viruses associated with the common cold. The primary means of contracting this is through exposure to coughing or sneezing by persons with upper respiratory tract infections. It can also occur as the virus spreads along the body’s own mucous membranes connecting lungs, throat, nose, tear ducts, and conjunctiva.
- Ophthalmia Neonatorum is a severe form of bacterial conjunctivitis that occurs in newborn babies. This is a serious condition that could lead to permanent eye damage unless it is treated immediately. Ophthalmia neonatorum occurs when an infant is exposed to Chlamydia or gonorrhea while passing through the birth canal.
Chemical Conjunctivitis can be caused by irritants like air pollution, chlorine in swimming pools, and exposure to noxious chemicals.How is it treated?
The appropriate treatment for conjunctivitis depends on its cause:
- Allergic conjunctivitis – The first step should be to remove or avoid the irritant, if possible. Cool compresses and artificial tears sometimes relieve discomfort in mild cases. In more severe cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines may be prescribed. Cases of persistent allergic conjunctivitis may also require topical steroid eye drops.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis – This type of conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments. Improvement can occur after three or four days of treatment, but the entire course of antibiotics needs to be used to prevent recurrence.
- Viral Conjunctivitis – There are no available drops or ointments to eradicate the virus for this type of conjunctivitis. Antibiotics will not cure a viral infection. Like a common cold, the virus just has to run its course, which may take up to two or three weeks in some cases. The symptoms can often be relieved with cool compresses and artificial tear solutions. For the worst cases, topical steroid drops may be prescribed to reduce the discomfort from inflammation, but do not shorten the course of the infection. Some doctors may perform an ophthalmic iodine eye wash in the office in hopes of shortening the course of the infection. This newer treatment has not been well studied yet, therefore no conclusive evidence of the success exists.
- Chemical Conjunctivitis – Treatment for chemical conjunctivitis requires careful flushing of the eyes with saline and may require topical steroids. The more acute chemical injuries are medical emergencies, particularly alkali burns, which can lead to severe scarring, intraocular damage or even loss of the eye.
Mula-mula rasa seronok dapat bercuti untuk 2 hari pertama, then mata tak hilang jugak merahnya, pegi balik klinik. Then the doctor there refer me to Putrajaya Hospital sbb dah nampak ada selaput on my left eyelid. Kat hospital, doc buat ophtalmic iodine eye wash yang sememangnya sangat memedihkan. stengah jam afte the procedure, mata jadi bengkak & seterusnya tidak membernarkan aku drive or even memandang persekitaran. Mata bengkak plus silau yang amat. Have to mintak favor pak abu (kawan sayang) jemput ku dari hospital then terus jemput Tasneem kat taska (waited for him from 3.30 till 6pm).
Nasib baik bila di rumah, Tasneem tak meragam. Lepas minum susu, terus si kecik tu mengantuk dan tidur tanpa banyak soal. Alhamdulillah.... 8.30 PM that night, mata makin bengkak & semakin berdenyut selepas letak artificial eyedrop & a drop of mild acid (untuk gugurkan lebihan selaput). Sakit tu, rasa biji mata mcm digigt semut2 kecil. Dah tak daya nak nangis. Hanya mampu tunggu sayang pulang jam 11 malam nanti. Sambil menunggu, tv sentiasa terpasang, tapi mata terlalu sakit untuk memandang cahaya apa lagi nak pusing biji mata untuk tinjau keadaan sekitar. Semua lampu utama ditutup & hanya buka lampu dapur sahaja sebagai peneman malam.
Tidur malam pun tak selesa. Tak mampu nak tengok Tasneem bila sikecik tu merengek tengah2 malam. Terpaksalah tugas tu Sayang ambik alih. Kelopak mata tak boleh dibuka sebab dua-dua belah melekat dek penangan eye discharge yang melekit.
------tak mampu nak terus menulis. Mata rasa perit memandang skrin komputer lama-lama. ---