What Are The Causes Of Conjunctivitis?

A number of things can be the cause of conjunctivitis. These factors range from seemingly unsuspected and unexpected ones such as allergies of such things as dust to other major ones like viruses and bacteria. Research shows that viruses are the major cause. The causes are outlined below:

  • Allergies (of dust, pool chlorine and pollen)
  • Bacteria
  • Certain diseases such as gonorrhea
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Fungi
  • Use of contact lenses. (A certain type of allergy affecting contact wearers)
  • Parasites on very rare occasions
  • Dirty water

As the conjunctiva is exposed to irritations and bacteria, it is good to know that our tears have the potential to fight and act as a protector by clearing up the bacteria. The tears do so by using the naturally produced antibodies and enzymes in it. Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria and spread to other people is not a serious risk when attended to soon by a doctor. However, the neonatal one causes serious results such as blindness and therefore must be reported to the physician immediately.

What Are The Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis?

Some of the symptoms of the pinkeye include:

  • Unclear vision (blurred)
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Grey or in some cases, yellow discharge.
  • Itchy eyes
  • Eye turning red
  • Oversensitivity to light
  • Crusty matter forming around the eye especially at night
  • The eye producing tears in a way that is not normal( the amount of tears increases)

It is advisable for you to see a doctor once you notice these symptoms. An examination will be conducted on your eyes. Taking a sample of the fluid in your eyes using a cotton swab is what the doctor will most likely do. The fluid is then tested in the medical lab with the use of a microscope so that the cause may be identified. It is important for the physician to find out the cause of the disease in order for him to get you the proper medication for treatment. Note that treatment is given based on the cause.

The symptoms can however be relieved by:

  • Not wearing your contact lenses for a period.
  • Use cold compresses on the eye.
  • Avoid irritants such as strong scented soaps.

Home Remedies For Conjunctivitis

Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!  Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.

  • Marigold plant- One of the most commonly used herbal remedy for conjunctivitis is none other than the marigold plant. Prepare eyewash from a cold infusion of water and leaves of this useful herb. Remember to start by crushing the leaves before mixing them and stirring in cold water. Using this eyewash a few times a day will effectively do away with any conjunctivitis infections.
  • Vegetable juice- Vegetable juices have been associated with a host of health benefits. If you are suffering from conjunctivitis, the juice from some of the most common vegetables could be of great use. Any time you are infected with this eye condition, simply take a mixture of 300 ml carrot juice and 200 ml spinach juice every day for about ten days and you'll be fine.
  • Indian gooseberry- Indian gooseberry is one of the proven and most commonly used herbal remedy for conjunctivitis. To make use of this remedy, take one cup of its juice daily, seasoned with 2 teaspoons of honey. It you take this twice daily, your infection should disappear in just under one week.
  • Coriander- Coriander, a common ingredient in many kitchens, can also be used as a herbal remedy for conjunctivitis. Add a handful of your coriander to about 60 ml of water and use the infusion to rinse the eyes. This will not only reduce the inflammation but will also relieve any burning sensation in the eyes.
  • Warm milk and honey- Honey has been used for years as a home remedy due to the many anti-bacterial properties it comes with. You can easily treat conjunctivitis using a eyewash made from honey and warm milk. Ass equal amount of honey and warm milk and stir until a smooth mixture is made. You can then use an eyedropper to drop 2-3 drops into the eye a couple of times every day.

Note that an infected person can get well, but the disease can reoccur if preventive measures and strict cleanliness are not adhered to.

There are times that you will really need to talk to your doctor.

  • When your baby suffers conjunctivitis.
  • When the child complains of constant pain in the eye, swelling or blurred vision accompanied with a fever.
  • When the disease does not go if left untreated for three days or if it does not show an improvement after treatment of the same number of days.

Diet For Conjunctivitis

Like every other disease in the body, a nutritionist advises you to take a balanced diet. Balanced diets help one acquire strong immunity good in fighting diseases. However, for your eyes to remain healthy, there are certain things that you will need to ensure your body gets.

Prevention Of Conjunctivitis

In some parts of Africa and Asia, a certain form of conjunctivitis has come up. It is called trachoma, and is only common in the developing world. It is usually caused by dirty water and is highly contagious. The infection is passed from one person to another by contact with an infected person and also by flies. The best prevention for this is to use clean water. Of course there are other ways of treating it; such as getting antibiotic, but this is only temporary as the disease resurfaces. This recurrence causes worse damage. Note that it is extremely important to prevent this disease as Trachoma is known to be a great and serious cause of blindness around the world. What more can be said of this other than that prevention is better than cure. Ways of preventing pinkeye are listed below:

  • Keep your hands and face clean. Be scrupulous about hygiene.
  • Do not share personal effects with an infected person. Personal effects to mean things as towels.
  • Try to use clean water as much as possible
  • To prevent passing of the disease from one eye to another, wash the crust in the eyes with warm saline water and avoid rubbing. By rubbing, the pus and crust may catch the other eye making it infected too.
  • Disposable tissue is the best to clean the eye as it avoids further contamination. After treatment, disposing the medication left over.
  • Do not share medication or eye makeup.
  • Change your bedding often.
  • Replace eye makeup often.

Note that since the newborn gets infected from birth, the woman might be the one to be medicated. She is given strong intravenous antibiotics immediately when her labor begins. This is an effective method in the prevention of the mother-to-baby infection.