Everything You Wanted to Know About Conjunctivitis…Otherwise Known as Pink Eye

Pink Eye

All About Pink Eye

Recently, we have been seeing a rise in the cases of pink eye at A to Z Learning Center and Childcare, https://www.a-zchildcareky.com/contact, so I thought I would write an article to explain what pink eye is, how it can be treated, and ways to stop the spread of the infection.

Pink eye can be an uncomfortable and nasty infection, but did you know that half of all cases clear up within 10 days without any treatment? That’s because there are many types of pink eye, with the most common pink eye symptoms caused by a viral infection, which can’t be treated with prescribed antibiotics.

The symptoms of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are very similar, and doctors generally don’t test to see which germs cause the infection. Thus, they prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to every patient, just in case. This can cause some confusion because parents and patients are advised that the infection is no longer contagious after 24 hours of beginning antibiotics.  Then they go back to school or work– but that is only true for bacterial pink eye, which isn’t even the most common type of eye conjunctivitis!  Most doctors do not test for the viral pink eye infection because it is costly and time-consuming. So antibiotics are prescribed under the assumption that the infection could be bacterial. This is confusing to the patient because if an antibiotic is prescribed, then its assumed the infection is bacterial and is not contagious after 24 hours after using the antibiotic. This is how pink eye spreads so rapidly. Most of the people who get pink eye return to work or school after a day or two, but the majority of them have the viral infection which is contagious for up to 2 weeks, or as long as the eyes are red.  Thus infecting everyone in their path!

So Exactly What Is Pink Eye?

Pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, is a common eye infection that causes redness, swelling, itching, tearing and a slightly thick, whitish drainage. It’s caused by a virus or bacteria, and it’s very contagious, spreading from person to person easily — making this a common condition.

Pink eye symptoms caused by bacteria typically clear up within 10 days without treatment, and viral pink eye symptoms go away after two to four weeks. During that time, the front of the eyes are swollen and tender, and the eyelids may burn or itch.

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common cause of pink eye, and it usually doesn’t require treatment. Bacterial eye conjunctivitis is the second most common cause of pink eye, and uncomplicated cases are typically resolved with prescribed topical antibiotics. (4 )

Pink Eye Symptoms

Pink eye symptoms begin to appear when the small blood vessels of the conjunctiva (the transparent membrane in the eye that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball) become inflamed and cause the whites of the eye to appear pink or red.

It’s difficult to determine the cause of pink eye based only on the symptoms and signs, so a sample of the eye discharge may be taken to determine what type of germs are causing the infection. Pink eye can be the result of several issues: a virus, bacteria, an allergy, an irritant, or a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

When bacteria enters the eye or the area around the eye, bacterial pink eye may develop. The infection typically lasts two to four days with antibiotic treatment or seven to 10 days without antibiotics.

Bacterial pink eye symptoms include:

Redness in the white of the eyes

Tearing

A burning sensation in the eyes

Eye pain, including mild pain and soreness in the conjunctiva

Yellow-green discharge or drainage from the eye that may cause the eyelashes to stick together and form a crust during the night

Swelling of the upper eyelid, making the lid appear droopy

Viral conjunctivitis has similar symptoms to bacterial pink eye, but the eyes typically secrete a more watery fluid. It also remains contagious as long as the eyes are red, usually between 10– 12 days.

Pink eye can also be caused by an allergy or irritation in the eye, and it’s encountered in up to 40 percent of the population. Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes, as opposed to bacterial or viral pink eye that can affect only one or both eyes. Allergic pink eye is the eye’s response to an allergy-causing substance, such as pollen, animal hair or house dust mites.

That’s why pink eye is one of the symptoms of histamine intolerance. Allergic pink eye symptoms also include signs of a respiratory condition, like sneezing and a runny nose.

Conjunctivitis resulting from eye irritation is not an infection, and it usually clears up within a day or two. If an irritant (such as dust and dirt) or chemical splashes into the eye, we usually flush it out and clean the eye, which can cause redness and a mucous discharge. The eyes may also be itchy and watery until the irritation has passed.

If you or a loved one is experiencing poor vision, increased sensitivity to light, the feeling that there is something in the eye or a severe headache together with nausea, there may be a more serious problem and you should reach out to a health care provider.

If you experience flashes and floaters in the eye, those are more likely the result of age rather than pink eye symptoms.

The skinny on pink eye symptoms – Dr. Axe

The truth is that a home remedy for pink eye like aloe vera gel or neem oil can make pink eye symptoms more tolerable until the infection clears up on its own. Researchers from England and the Netherlands looked at studies on the treatment of conjunctivitis with antibiotics and found that antibiotics helped speed the recovery in 10 out of 100 people within six to 10 days, and 46 out of 100 patients who didn’t use antibiotics any longer had pink eye symptoms within six to 10 days. (2 )

8 Home Remedies for Pink Eye Symptoms

  1. Tulsi

Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is known for its healing power. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the eyes from environmental damage and free radicals. It also has the power to fight viral, fungal and bacterial infections in the eyes.

Soak tulsi leaves in boiled water for 10 minutes. Use the water as an eyewash, or soak a clean cotton pad or washcloth in the water and use it as a warm compress. (8 )

  1. Green Tea

The bioflavonoids present in green tea– like matcha green tea– relieve irritation and inflammation caused by pink eye while fighting viral and bacterial infections. Dip a green tea bag in boiled water and place it on the infected eye once it’s cool enough to touch.

  1. Aloe Vera Gel

Components in aloe vera gel, such as aloin and amodin, have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some other important aloe vera benefits are its ability to reduce inflammation and speed up healing.

Once you notice the signs of pink eye, place aloe vera gel around the eye and eyelid. Researchers discovered that aloe vera extracts may be used in eye drops to treat inflammation and other ailments of external parts of the eye.

  1. Turmeric

It also has antibacterial properties and can relieve pink eye symptoms when used topically. Soak a clean cotton pad or washcloth in the mixture and use it as a warm compress.

  1. Neem Oil

It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that can relieve the symptoms of conjunctivitis. Wipe neem oil around the eye and eyelid before going bed for pink eye relief.

  1. Colloidal Silver

One of the many colloidal silver benefits is its prompt action against a pink eye infection. When applied on the infected eye, the tiny silver colloids pick up the infected cells by attracting them electromagnetically and sending them into the bloodstream to be eliminated.

  1. Make a Poultice.

I created a home remedy for pink eye that combines raw honey with herbs to provide significant relief of pink eye. Honey has antimicrobial properties while fennel, calendula and chamomile aid in soothing.

  1. Breastmilk?

The nutrition in breast milk is off the charts and many generations have used breast milk to treat their children’s eye infections. For bacteria-caused pink eye, evidence shows that breast milk of the mother is unlikely to be effective against the bacteria that cause this infection. (13b).

How to Prevent the Spread of Pink Eye

Pink eye is extremely contagious, so it’s important that you’re careful not to spread the infection to the other eye or to someone else. Because a common pink eye symptom is itchiness, we tend to keep our fingers around the eye.

Throw away the tissue or wipe right away so the bacteria or virus does not travel when drainage is cleared away from the eye. Put them in the dirty laundry pile right away so no one else uses them if washcloths are used to clean the eye.

In order to prevent the spread of pink eye, follow these simple tips:.

Wash your hands before and after touching, applying or draining medication to the eyes.

Don’t wear contact lenses until the pink eye symptoms clear up and the infection is cured. Dispose of contact cases, and use a new one once the infection is cured.

Wash towels, washcloths, linens and pillow cases after using, and do not share them with others.

Don’t share eye makeup or makeup brushes. It’s best to throw away eye makeup products that were used while the eye was infected and throw away or clean brushes thoroughly.

Do not use a warm or cold compress more than once, and be sure to use a different compress for each eye.

Five tips to prevent the spread of pink eye – Dr. Axe.

What Causes Pink Eye?

If you’re exposed to someone infected with the bacterial or viral form of conjunctivitis, the risk of developing pink eye increases. Pink eye caused by bacteria is contagious for as long as the symptoms appear, and it remains contagious until there is no longer a mucous discharge coming from the eye or until 24 hours after antibiotics started.

Viral pink eye, on the other hand, is contagious before symptoms appear and can remain spreadable as long as the symptoms last. Many patients are given antibiotics to treat all forms of pink eye, even those caused by a virus. The patient returns to school or work after 24 hours, but the infection is still highly contagious.

Using contact lenses may also increase the risk of developing pink eye because the virus or bacteria may grow on the lenses, which are used day after day. Contact solution does not kill the infection, so lenses should be thrown out after a pink eye diagnosis and new ones should be used only after the infection has been cured. Contact lenses also increase the risk of the infection spreading to the cornea (called keratitis), which only happens to about three out of 10,000 people who wear contact lenses.

Being exposed to an irritant or something that causes an allergy, such as pollen, also increases the risk of developing pink eye symptoms. If the foreign body such as a wood splinter is not removed from the eye, this may cause persistent irritation and lead to conjunctivitis.

Conventional Pink Eye Symptoms Treatment

Eye ointments or drops that contain antibiotics are often given as a treatment for pink eye just in case it is a bacterial infection– however, pink eye is more commonly caused by a virus, and antibiotics have no effect on viruses. Only the symptoms can be treated if the infection is viral. Applying a warm or cold compress and using non-antibiotic eye drops are common remedies for viral infections.

Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers are commonly used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. Antihistamines are drugs that are taken to relieve allergy symptoms.

Sedation, the most common adverse effect of antihistamine agents, occurs in 10 percent to 25 percent of users. According to a review published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, drowsiness from antihistamines has been attributed to the blockage of central histaminergic receptors in the brain.

Mast cell stabilizing drugs slow down or stop the release of allergic mediators from mast cells, thereby preventing the release of histamines and related mediators. To treat conjunctivitis symptoms, mast cell stabilizers are available as eye drops.

Takeaways on Pink Eye Symptoms

Half of all cases clear up within 10 days without any treatment.

The most common pink eye symptoms caused by a viral infection, which can’t be treated with prescribed antibiotics.

Viral pink eye symptoms go away after two to four weeks.

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common cause of pink eye, and it usually doesn’t require treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis is the second most common cause of pink eye, and uncomplicated cases are typically resolved with prescribed topical antibiotics.

Bacterial pink eye symptoms include redness in the white of the eyes, tearing, a burning sensation in the eyes, eye pain (soreness in the conjunctiva), yellow-green discharge or drainage from the eye that may cause the eyelashes to stick together and form a crust during the night, and swelling of the upper eyelid, making the lid appear droopy.

The best home remedies for pink eye are tulsi, green tea, aloe vera gel, turmeric, neem oil and colloidal silver.

Follow these steps to prevent the spread of pink eye:.

Wash your hands before and after touching, applying or draining medication to the eyes.

Don’t wear contact lenses until the pink eye symptoms clear up and the infection is cured. Dispose of contact cases, and use a new one once the infection is cured.

Wash towels, washcloths, linens and pillow cases after using, and do not share them with others.

Don’t share eye makeup or makeup brushes. It’s best to throw away eye makeup products that were used while the eye was infected and throw away or clean brushes thoroughly.

Do not use a warm or cold compress more than once, and be sure to use a different compress for each eye.

The truth is that a home remedy for pink eye like aloe vera gel or neem oil can make pink eye symptoms more tolerable until the infection clears up on its own. Allergic conjunctivitis eyes both affects, as opposed to bacterial or viral pink eye that can affect only one or both eyes. Allergic pink eye is the eye’s response to an allergy-causing substance, such as pollen, animal hair or house dust mites.

If an irritant (such as dust and dirt) or chemical splashes into the eye, we usually flush it out and clean the eye, which can cause redness and a mucous discharge. Eye ointments or drops that contain antibiotics are often given as a treatment for pink eye just in case it is a bacterial infection– however, pink eye is more commonly caused by a virus, and antibiotics have no effect on viruses.

Excerpts from this article taken from:  https://draxe.com/pink-eye-symptoms/

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