Almost all individuals at some point might have suffered from the pink eye or conjunctivitis in their lifetime.
Pink eye (inflammation of the conjunctiva) is classified as infectious or noninfectious.
About 70% of the people will get affect with infectious pink eye, which is caused either by bacteria (45%) like staphylococcus, streptococcus, and pneumococcus or a virus (25%).
Infectious conjunctivitis is a contagious disease. Remaining 30% accounts for noninfectious pink eye, which is caused by allergens, chemicals, or underlying diseases. Conjunctivitis may also be caused by trauma.
The common type of pink eye is viral conjunctivitis. The symptoms include watery discharge, burning sensation, and irritation with glossy redness. When infected with virus, the infection usually starts in one eye and then spreads to the second one. The eyelids probably will be swollen and are very sensitive to light.
The symptoms of viral pink eye can be relieved with artificial tears or cool compresses. Topical steroids can also reduce the inflammation and discomfort.
Another type of pink eye is bacterial conjunctivitis. The symptoms include heavy purulent discharge with sticking of eyelids overnight, soreness and sensitivity, lots of redness, tearing, pain, irritation, and swelling of conjunctiva. In this type of conjunctivitis also, the infection starts in one eye and spread to another one.
Treatment will be initiation of topical antibiotics. If the bacteria type is gonococcus, intramuscular or intravenous antibiotics will be given in addition to topical therapy.
Here are some of the antibiotics that are commonly used in treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. They include Gentamycin, Garamycin, Polytrim, Oflaxacin, Tobradex eye drops, Neomycin eye drops, Neomycin eye ointment, etc.
Allergic pink eye is often seasonal. People who suffer from allergies may also suffer noninfectious conjunctivitis, which means allergies cause conjunctivitis such as swelling of the eye, itchiness, eye sensitivity, and redness in the eye. Usually this infection disappears when the allergies go away. This infection affects both the eyes.
Unless the infection is bothering, there is no need of treatment for this noninfectious pink eye. In severe cases, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) will be helpful.
Chemical pink eye is caused when an irritating substance enter into the eye like spray, smoke, pollutants, etc. Pink eye can also be caused by underlying diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Kawasaki’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Here are some home remedies to get rid of pink eye.
- Honey has antibacterial properties. If the honey is not pasteurized, it has antibiotic properties also. Apply the honey as an eye drop to soothe and heal the injured eye.
- Castor oil is also an effective home remedy for the pink eye. Put one drop in the eyes three times a day.
- Tea contains bioflavonoids that help to prevent the infection and reduces the inflammation. So, place the teabags (moist or partially used teabags) on eyes. Repeat it several times a day. It is one of the best home remedies for conjunctivitis.
Knowing about the symptoms and treatments of pink eye is must to prevent the infection.