Infective conjunctivitis or pink eye is caused by a bacteria or virus
Infective conjunctivitis or pink eye is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). The conjunctiva covers the white part of the eyeball, when infected by bacteria or virus it turns red or pink. Infective conjunctivitis is highly contagious and may affect one or both the eyes. Its symptoms are severe to mild eye irritation, inflammation and eyes turning to red or pink colour. Infective conjunctivitis is different from non-infective conjunctivitis. The latter is caused by smoke, diesel exhaust, perfumes, chemicals and sensitivity to certain substances.
Infective conjunctivitis or pink eye is caused by virus or bacteria. If the viral conjunctivitis produces a watery discharge, the bacterial conjunctivitis produces a thick yellow-green discharge. Infective conjunctivitis affects people of all age groups.
The symptoms of infective conjunctivitis include redness, itchiness, gritty feeling and discharge from the eyes, difficult to open eye lids in the morning and tearing. People affected by infective conjunctivitis may also experience burning sensation, pus, sensitivity to light and sneezing. After a long sleep, the affected may find it difficult to open their eyelids which are sealed by pus or sticky coating. In some people, fever, headache and sore throat may also run parallel to conjunctivitis.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Use of contact lenses and exposure to allergy causing substances enhances the risk of conjunctivitis. All items/articles used by the infected people may carry the bacteria/virus, and by a simple touch may lead to spreading of the infection. Inflammation of the cornea is the immediate complication of infective conjunctivitis.
TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
The doctor examines the eyes to note the colour and infection. If the eyes are red and watery, the doctor may recommend for laboratory analysis of the eye fluids. This test will help the doctor to know the cause of infective/non-infective conjunctivitis, viral or bacterial infection or specific allergen. By knowing about the exact cause of conjunctivitis proper preventive and treatment measures can be taken.
Infective conjunctivitis or pink eye caused by bacteria or viral infection is highly contagious. By following certain preventive measures infective conjunctivitis can be avoided, which includes avoiding contact with infected people and not allowing others to use your towels and toiletries. Importantly, practice of good hygiene, that includes regular washing of one’s hands with soap and water helps to prevent the spread of the infection.