What is Pink Eye a.k.a Conjunctivitis? First off, let me tell ya from experience, it SUCKS!
Pink eye is a very common eye infection, known as Conjunctivitis in medical books. Conjunctivitis is spread easily from child to child through contact with other infected children and dirty hands. It is a condition where the membrane lining the eyes suffers from swelling, redness, irritation and inflammation. Moreover, this condition is accompanied with a discharge which can be white, green or yellow in color. Special care is required when dealing with children suffering from pink eye, since they tend to rub the infected eye, worsening the condition.
Bacterial or viral activity is generally the cause of conjunctivitis, though, it can also be triggered by an allergic reaction in some adults or children. In newborn babies, a problem with the tear duct can make the baby susceptible to conjunctivitis. Taking proper care of the eye, after a foreign body comes in contact with your eye, is important since that body may carry infectious agents or irritants.
- The first sign of conjunctivitis can be easily identified by redness in the affected eye. This is caused by the superficial blood vessels of the eye ball become inflamed, and they can be seen prominently on the white part of the eye.
- The next symptom which might develop is the habit to itch the eyes. Conjunctivitis can cause mild or severe irritation to the infected eye. It is best to avoid itching the eye since the disease is contagious and the might spread through the hands which come in contact with the infected eye.
- Another prominent symptom is the discharge of a thick liquid which might be white, green or yellow in color. This liquid discharge, if not cleaned from the eye can dry up and hinder the movement of the eyelids. Sometimes it might prevent the eyes from opening too.
- Excessive tearing is also a symptom of conjunctivitis which is simply a natural way of our body to remove the bacteria, virus or irritant from the eyes.
- In extreme cases, there might even be blindness if the conjunctivitis is not treated promptly.
The best thing to do if you suspect your child has conjunctivitis is to consult a doctor. He will prescribe you antibiotic or antiviral eye drops or drugs as a treatment to pink eye. Sometimes ointments can also work. For conjunctivitis caused by an allergic reactions, a prescription that treats both the allergy and the eye irritation is recommended.
A warm compress over the eye works to calm the irritation and cleans eyelids. Avoid contact lenses while suffering from conjunctivitis since they can spread the infection. Using saline tear drops will also flush the eye.
So now you at least know why your eyes burn and are crusted shut!