Red eyes conjunctivitis

Red Eyes, Don’t Wait: Doctor Visit Guide for Conjunctivitis Types & Treatment

Forget googling “Can eye infections kill you?”. Those bloodshot eyes, itchiness, and discharge could be signs of conjunctivitis, a common eye infection.

Are you squinting at your screen with burning red eyes? But not anymore! Don’t get scared of an eye infection. Know if it is bacterial or allergic. Know the symptoms and adhere to a roadmap to faster relief.

We’ll equip you with the knowledge to decipher your conjunctivitis symptoms. Also, understand the treatment options for eye infections. Besides, we help you ask the right questions during your doctor’s visit. So, put down the eye drops and pick up this guide—it’s time to reclaim healthy eyes once again.

All about Conjunctivitis: What you need to know

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, resulting in bloodshot eyes. Pink eye infection is caused by the invasion of viruses, bacteria, or allergens in the thin, clear tissue located inside the eyelids, in the white part.

But don’t let pink eyes scare you off! There are different types of conjunctivitis; let’s decode the causes of bloodshot eyes, and understand how our eyes get infected with these factors.

1. Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is a less common type of conjunctivitis. This conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection and can usually be treated with antibiotic treatment options. Eyelids are puffy, and the infected may take a week to recover from the bacterial infection.

2. Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and has infected thousands of people in each region with the eye flu. Whenever one catches a cold or flu virus, the chance of getting mild discomfort in the eyes exists.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can also result from allergy-prone pollen, dust, mites, or animal dander. It is less contagious and can be controlled by the application of allergic eye drops. Whenever you get allergic to substances, chances of infection with conjunctivitis exist.

4. Irritation conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis caused by irritant chemical exposure or invasion of foreign objects in the eyes is called irritation conjunctivitis. Various irritants and external factors are responsible for these. Even contact lenses, when worn for a longer time and not cleaned thoroughly, can result in this situation.

Symptoms of eye infection usually end after a day, but if the irritation exists in the eye, you need emergency medical attention. Chemical exposure to acid or alkali can also irritate your eyes. Even dry eye symptoms can trigger a pink eye infection, so take thorough care.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, aka pink eye infection, is an eye inflammation whose symptoms typically vary depending on the type and cause. Let’s decode the common symptoms of a pink eye infection and know the warning signs. 

  • Redness in the eye
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Discharge (pus or mucus) from eyes
  • Crusting of eyelids or lashes
  • Increased tear production
  • Feeling that something strange is in the eyes
  • Itching, irritation, and burning sensations

We are now exploring how the types of conjunctivitis differ in each type. Look for the tabular presentation of the data below for the bloodshot eyes you are facing.

Types of Conjunctivitis Distinctive Symptoms
Viral Runny nose, Sore throat
Bacterial Discharge (pus), eyelid sticking together
Allergic Itching, tearing, swelling, sneezing, scratchy throat
Irritation Crusting of eyelids, mucus discharge, watery eyes

Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can be treated with effective measures. Before treatment, the eye doctor will check for what is responsible for infecting your eyes. Upon assessment of the underlying cause of pink eye infection, a specific treatment plan is recommended, suited to your eye condition.

1. Viral Bloodshot eyes treatment

Antibiotics are not effective when it comes to viral infections in the eyes. It typically takes around 2 to 3 weeks to gradually clear the symptoms of the virus, and antiviral medicines like aciclovir, trifluridine, and valaciclovir are prescribed for some cases of adenoviral conjunctivitis.

Antiviral drugs are prescribed to treat the herpes simplex virus, which causes bloodshot eyes. Even eye issues and complications are reduced with effective treatment plans that run over the course.

2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis treatment plan

If your eyes are infected with bacterial conjunctivitis, then antibiotics are given to you in the form of eye drops or ointments. The medications help you reduce the spread of pink eye infections and shorten the irritation and infection period. Tobramycin, Azithromycin, Neomycin, Ciprofloxacin, Gatifloxacin, Fluoroquinolones, and gentamicin are among some of the prescribed drugs for bacterial infection of the eyes.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis treatment

If it’s allergic conjunctivitis, you are infected with allergy medications and certain eye drops are prescribed for you. Corticosteroids, artificial Tears, Claritin eye, and immunotherapy are some medications through which allergic eye infections are treated.

4. Irritation and conjunctivitis treatment

When one is infected with chemical conjunctivitis, the standard treatment includes careful cleaning of the eyes with the help of saline. Topical steroids could also be an optional treatment method. Such irritant recovers faster than others, while moxifloxacin, tobramycin, and erythromycin, eye drops can be taken for relief. Cold compresses, ointments, and preservative-free artificial tears

Precautionary measures for Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a pink eye disease caused by viruses, bacteria, irritants, or allergen contamination in the eyes. The recovery time of viral conjunctivitis is usually 7–14 days, and it can be painful to some extent.

However, with the necessary precautions, you can avoid this pink eye complication. In some cases, the chances of causing long-term consequences are the bare minimum. Even it can be improved without antibiotic treatment in 2 to 5 days. So, let’s find out how you can prevent conjunctivitis.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after exposure to contamination.
  2. Avoid rubbing your eyes to prevent transmission of infection from one eye to another
  3. Have hygienic practices and wash your hands before and after touching your eyes
  4. Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases, eye cosmetics, and reading glasses
  5. Reportedly, vaccines can prevent some conjunctivitis-related infection
  6. Wear contact lenses under the advice of an eye doctor only
  7. Throw away eye makeup products or brushes used during pink eye infection
  8. Disposable contact lenses need to be replaced if used during infection

Risk Factors of Conjunctivitis

The pink eye condition is a risk factor for developing conjunctivitis. Take charge of your eye health today by taking proper care. But before I explain the risk factors for pink eyes below:

1. Viruses

Viral infections are highly contagious. The most common virus, adenovirus, often causes it. Besides, the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and herpes zoster can lead to severe eye problems.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), picornavirus (enterovirus 70, Coxsackie A24), poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum, vaccinia), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are also responsible for pink eye.

2. Bacteria

A bacterial infection can also lead to pink eye issues. The common bacteria resulting in conjunctivitis are Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Neisseria meningitidis. Follow the prescribed dosage and duration of treatment for better relief.

3. Allergens

Pink eye infections are consequences of pollen, dust, and allergen inflammation. Mites, pet dander, mold, and other substances cause the release of histamine, leading to inflammation in the eyes. Even atopic dermatitis or eczema have some association with allergic infections in the eyes. Use topical lubricants and antihistamine eye drops to relieve allergen symptoms.

4. Chemicals and irritants

Exposure to smoke, dust, fumes, or chemical vapors can cause eye infections. Chlorine in swimming pools, noxious chemicals, and air pollution are major factors leading to non-infectious irritant infections. Medical emergencies may also result in severe chemical injuries. Loose eyelashes also cause pink eyes.

5. Contact Lens Wear

Contact lens wear can increase the risk of developing conjunctivitis if not cleaned and stored safely from fungal or bacterial infections. Extended wear of contact lenses can increase inflammation. So, notice in cases of dry eye syndromes, tear film abnormalities, and irritant environmental factors.

Conclusion

Conjunctivitis is concerned with red eye inflammation. There are mild to severe cases of eye infection, so it’s always better to seek professional medical advice for effective treatment.

Meanwhile, our comprehensive guides help you get an approximate diagnosis. Know the importance of testing your eyes, and ask about the varying causes and treatments of the eye disease.

Don’t ignore a red-eye infection and its symptoms. Get effective treatment and regain clear and comfortable vision. Schedule your appointment today with Vision Concern for proper eye care.

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