Conjunctivitis”-Red Eye,Pink eye or Sore Eye
IMPROVE YOUR EYE HEALTH : This article is a continuation of Eye-Health, information and education series.If you have not read the other articles,please also go through the following link and read in detail about “Eye Health” Education and Information.
Eye Health starts right from the health of the outer layer,covering of the Eye.
Surface of our eyes, that is a white part of our eyes called as sclera is covered with a protective covering called as conjunctiva. But this conjunctiva is not present over the cornea that is the black portion of our eye. This the surface covering, conjunctiva is very important and has a very specific function in our eyes. It plays a vital role in the defense mechanism of our eyes. Protection is the primary role whether this protection is offered in the form of mechanical, immunologic, allergic, infectious, or chemical injuries. Any inflammation of this protective layer is called as conjunctivitis.
This inflammation could be of many reasons or in other words the causes of conjunctivitis are many. So when your doctor tells you, that you have got conjunctivitis this is only the effect but the cause of this conjunctivitis at times needs to be explored in certain cases.
Most of the common type of conjunctivitis is that we deal in our practice is viral conjunctivitis. Mind it there is also bacterial conjunctivitis which occurs due to attack of bacteria.
Commonly as we deal with viral conjunctivitis and as the name suggests it is caused by a virus, again there are thousands of viruses because of which you can get conjunctivitis. The manifestation of certain viruses differ and produce severe type of conjunctivitis and also complications of conjunctivitis.
Common causes of “viral conjunctivitis” are herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), picornavirus (enterovirus 70, Coxsackie A24), poxvirus ( molluscum contagiosum, vaccinia) etc. however, certain strains of adenovirus is by far the most common cause but some strains of adenovirus produce a condition also called as “adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis” which is a complicated situation and needs special attention to deal with the complications, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the most problematic.
Further details about adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis is discussed as a separate article, please look in menu > services > eye care > adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis.
Signs and symptoms of viral conjunctivitis
- Itchy eyes
- Light sensitivity (with corneal involvement)
The diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis is clinical, and only in complicated resistant cases and in epidemics certain test are ordered like…conjunctival swabs, viral culture, PCR and most of the time is a research tool .
Treatment of conjunctivitis
At present we do not have a very effective anti-viral medication which plays a good role in the management of conjunctivitis. Till date the treatment of conjunctivitis consists of prevention of the secondary infection, lubrication, avoiding complications, treatment of complications, comfort to the patient. The role of available anti-viral agents are very limited and at times questionable in certain types of conjunctivitis all the more the side effects caused by them also has to be taken in account. As conjunctivitis is a self-limiting disease, when it is caused by a weak strain of virus in lay man’s term is also called as “red eye” or “sore eye”.
At times situation may be different when the viruses causing the disease is not a weak strain but either an unusual strain or some highly virulent strain which is responsible for the complications, prolonged course and resistance to treatment.
Preventing the spread of conjunctivitis .
Certain important things should be taken into account by the family members and the patient, which are as follows,
READ MORE- Tips for patient of Conjunctivitis, Red eyes,or Sore eyes.