Conjunctivitis or pink eye is redness and swelling of the membranes of the eyelids and the surface of the eye. This layer is called the conjunctiva and inflammation of the conjunctiva is called conjunctivitis. The eye layer is usually clear and colorless. Conjunctivitis often occurs and spreads easily, especially among children, at school, especially the dormitory environment.
Because the sore eye is often contagious because of hand rubbing, hand washing is important. Sharing a washcloth, towel, or other object with people suffering from conjunctivitis can transmit the infection .
Conjunctivitis is most often caused by viruses, but other cases of conjunctivitis can also be caused by bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus , Streptococcus pneumoniae , Haemophilus species, and Chlamydia trachomatis, and fungi although less common. Dry air, allergies, smoke, and chemicals can also cause this eye disease.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is sometimes caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as Chlamydia . If symptoms do not go away after a month, this may indicate an STI. Most types of bacterial conjunctivitis will heal faster with treatment. Infective conjunctivitis is very contagious and can be easily passed on to others.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis
Symptoms of contagious conjunctivitis or pink eye include:
- Reddish eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Burning in the eyes
- Exit tears more than usual
- Eyelashes stick together
- Light sensitivity to light so that the eyes easily feel glare
- The view is not blurred, if the view begins to blur there is a possibility that inflammation has reached the deeper layers of the eye, the cornea
You may have symptoms in one eye, both eyes, or symptoms can spread from one eye to another. When the contagious eye is caused by a virus, symptoms usually starting from one eye can then spread to the other eye.
If you think your eyes are contagious, contact your doctor to find out the best way to treat them. And if you wear contact lenses, make sure to be released immediately. Certain risks can increase the seriousness of the symptoms due to the use of contact lenses such as inflammation that is getting deeper due to the surface wound of the eye layer of the cornea (deeper than the conjunctiva).
Diagnosis of conjunctivitis
A doctor can usually diagnose an eye disease that is contagious by eye examination and by asking questions about your symptoms. Sometimes doctors will use cotton to take some liquid from around your eyes so that it can be tested to examine bacteria or other infections.
Some cases of infective conjunctivitis recover within a few days to 2 weeks without treatment, but some cases can take up to one month. For bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics can shorten recovery time and reduce the spread of infection to others. If symptoms persist for 2 weeks or more, the sufferer must return to see their doctor, who will review the diagnosis and adjust treatment.
If your doctor thinks contagious eyes are caused by bacteria, he may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or eye ointments to kill bacteria. With antibiotic treatment, symptoms usually disappear within 2-3 days. But antibiotics only work for eye diseases that are transmitted by bacteria, not for eyes that are more viral. The infectious eye virus can often heal itself in 7-10 days. If the symptoms last longer, contact a doctor.
If the contagious eye is caused by allergies or chemicals, do not go out of the house and avoid exposure to substances that cause allergic conjunctivitis. It is better to be sure to find out specific specific substance allergies by means of skin prick tests. Here’s the treatment you can do at home:
- Home care for symptoms of contagious eye disease can help you feel more comfortable when the infection is cured
- Wash your hands more often. Always wash your hands before and after you touch a sore or facial eye
- Use moist cotton or a clean wet cloth to remove crust. Wipe from the inside corner of the eye. Use clean parts of cloth for each cloth. If the infection is only one eye, be careful not to spread to other eyes.
- Place a cold or warm wet cloth on your eyes several times a day if your eyes hurt
- Do not wear contact lenses until the sore eyes heal. Sterilize contact lenses and storage areas. Wait at least 2 days after symptoms disappear before returning to contact lenses
- If the doctor gives antibiotic drops or ointments, use medication according to prescription and doctor’s advice, even when the eyes start to look better. Keep the tip of the bottle clean, and don’t let it touch the eye area
- Don’t wear eye makeup until your eyes heal
- Do not share towels, pillows, or wipes if the eyes are sore and contagious
- Use eye drops for allergies and drugs to reduce the symptoms of contagious eye disease caused by allergies.