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Conjunctivitis: Is Your Eye Going Pink Again?

Conjunctivitis, also termed as ‘pink eye’, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. It is a transparent membrane, constituted by the palpebral and bulbar segments, that spans the eyelids and the anterior region of the eyeball respectively.

If you suspecting any kind of eye infection, refer to an Eye Specialist in Islamabad at your earliest.

Find out the Causes

The etiology defines the different types of conjunctivitis; allergic, infective, and neonatal ones being the most common out of all.

Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, and Adenovirus are the most frequently associated infective agents with infective conjunctivitis. These species are a constituent of normal human flora which if gets imbalanced can induce an inflammatory reaction in the body, including the eye. This form is disseminated by fomites, frequent use of contact lenses, or fingers carrying specks of discharge of viral or bacterial infection.

Allergic conjunctivitis is a reaction to allergens in the environment that cause a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction. Following mast cell degranulation, the IgE-mediated response leads to the production of histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins.

Neonatal conjunctivitis is a result of vertical transmission of sexually transmitted pathogens, Neisseria gonorrhea and Chlamydia trachomatis. The baby contracts the infection from the infected mother via transplacental transfer or the contaminated birth canal. This type is characterized by a purulent discharge that can cause blindness if left untreated.

Prevalence

Allergic conjunctivitis tends to have the highest global incidence every year. While, in the case of infectious conjunctivitis, 80% of the cases are attributable to viruses.

What Puts You at Risk?

Individuals are prone to infective conjunctivitis if they lack proper hygiene, use contaminated personal goods, live in overcrowded settings, have a history of eye disease, have an impaired immune system, etc. Studies suggest that bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in the winter, whereas viral conjunctivitis is more common in the summer.

If you are consistently exposed to polluted air, pollens, animal secretions, and smoke, these factors can precipitate allergic conjunctivitis. It has a higher incidence in the spring and summer seasons. As backed by researches, consuming paracetamol excessively or low status of maternal (perinatal) vitamin D supplementation can also put one at risk factor for contracting seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

About the neonatal form, if the newborn is exposed to a pathogen owing to an early rupture of the membrane or due to substandard hygiene conditions right after birth, the chances of developing neonatal conjunctivitis increase. Furthermore, an HIV-1-positive woman is more likely to pass the ailment on to her child.

Signs and Symptoms

Allergic Conjunctivitis:

  • Watery discharge
  • Excessive itchiness
  • Rhinitis (runny nose)
  • Increased blinking
  • Photophobia
  • Bilateral involvement
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Chances of a concomitant asthma attack

Infective Conjunctivitis (Bacterial):

  • Redness
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Purulent or mucopurulent discharge
  • Matting of the eyelids
  • No itchiness

Infective Conjunctivitis (Viral):

  • Fever
  • Upper respiratory tract infections like pharyngitis
  • Photophobia
  • Watery discharge
  • Bilateral involvement
  • Headache

Neonatal Conjunctivitis:

  • Purulent or mucopurulent discharge
  • Matting of eyelashes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Bilateral involvement

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms discussed above, reach out to the Best Eye Specialist in Lahore for an in-depth consultation.

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