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Warning Signs & Symptoms Of PINK EYE | (Conjunctivitis)
Vision is one of the five essential human senses. But we tend to ignore our eye health unless we visibly see indications of irritation such as redness. Temporary redness due to lack of sleep, prolonged screen exposure, tiredness, or after crying can resolve with time. But if redness is accompanied by irritation, itching, and pus, you could have what is commonly called pink eye. This condition affects around 6 million people every year in the United States. In today's article, we will discuss everything you need to know about pink eye. How do you get it in the first place? Is it contagious? How is it treated? We’ll be discussing all that and more. So let's get started…

1.Have you ever heard of conjunctivitis?

We're taking you back to your biology class, but don’t worry if you didn’t pay attention then. We have your back now. The conjunctiva is a thin transparent layer covering the white part of your eyes and the underside of your eyelids. This layer's primary purpose is to keep the eyeballs moist. It also protects your eyes from dust and dirt. Doctors call this layer sclera. When this layer gets inflamed, the blood vessels become more prominent, giving your eye a pink appearance. Conjunctivitis is simply the inflammation of the conjunctiva. It usually lasts for 1 to 4 weeks or even longer in some cases. Conjunctivitis is often confused with another ocular condition called a stye. Most stye symptoms are similar to that of pink eye, except during a stye, you develop painful bumps on the eyelids. While a stye occurs due to the infection in the oil glands on your eyelids, the pink eye could have multiple other causes.

2.The most common is viral conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis affects males and females, kids and adults equally. Viral conjunctivitis usually spreads from schools, crowded offices, and mass gatherings. You will be amused to find that the same viruses that cause a runny nose or sore throat are responsible for pink eye. So it's pretty easy to catch it. The most deadly virus the world recently experienced: coronavirus, is also closely related to conjunctivitis. Some scientists also believe pink eye to be an exclusive early symptom of covid-19.

3.The next cause is bacterial conjunctivitis.

Common bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, and Streptococcus pneumonia are notorious for giving pink eye. These microbes can turn eye discharge yellow or greenish. They even make it sticky. So when you wake up and try to open your eyes in the morning, you might feel your eyelids stuck to each other. Bacterial conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes and is HIGHLY contagious. Failing to treat this condition can cause severe damage.

4.Allergies also can give you pink eye.

You could still get pink eye if you are allergic to pollens, cigarette smoke, chlorine from swimming pools, or car fumes. It can be a seasonal phenomenon for a few people. Failing to change contact lenses also frequently can irritate the conjunctiva of your eyes. Additionally, harsh cosmetics like lotions, shampoos, and makeup might harm the delicate layer of your eyes.

5.Another form of conjunctivitis can be sexually transmitted.

Herpes simplex, Gonorrhea, or chlamydia can transmit infections sexually. Pregnant women with these diseases can also give their newborns pink eye. The bacteria get transferred from the birth canal to the baby's eyes, causing conjunctivitis.

6.Another reason for conjunctivitis in babies is due to blocked tear ducts.

Babies frequently have blocked tear ducts. Most clogged tear ducts will resolve on their own or with minor treatment. A nasolacrimal blockage, often known as a clogged tear duct, affects 20% of newborns. Tears glands above the eyes on each side farthest from the nose produce tears. Tears keep the eyes moist and safeguard the eyes by flushing away irritating or hazardous substances. A fully or partially blocked is dangerous and causes pink eye.

7.Lastly, individuals with a compromised immune system can get conjunctivitis.

A poor immune system increases your vulnerability to disease and infection. Consider your immune system a mighty army responsible for defending you from bacteria and viruses. However, when you have compromised immunity, your body will not be able to fend off infections and diseases. You can frequently fall prey to any illness and get pink eye.

8.We are now coming to the warning signs of pink eye.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has given a few symptoms to look out for a pink eye. Let's discuss those in detail. You can have a gritty feeling in the eye, redness, itching, and discharge from the eyes. A few chemical irritants enter your eye and can cause burning and rarely blurred vision. Sometimes the symptoms might affect just one eye initially, and as the infection spreads, the second eye will also be affected. Critical cases can experience sensitivity to light and swelling in the eyelids. Your body also gives off a few signs of early infection before you start seeing actual eye changes. You can have flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, body ache, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and lethargy.

9.How can you treat pink eye?

The type of conjunctivitis usually determines the treatment for this condition. If conjunctivitis has a viral origin, then there are no particular therapies that can help. Your body's immunity is the only way to fight against pathogens. You can place a cool, moist towel on your eyes to feel at ease. In case of bacterial infections, your eye doctor can recommend antibiotic eye drops and ointments. Remember, antibiotics do not work against allergic and viral conjunctivitis. If allergies are the sole cause of your pink eye, your doctor will give you anti-allergic eye drops to relieve the itching and swelling. If a chemical or particles of an irritating substance get stuck in your eye, rinse it with water. Artificial tears can also help to wash the sclera. Doctors put antibiotic drops in newborns' eyes immediately to prevent conjunctivitis. The doctors will also inform you to apply warm compresses to relieve swelling and irritation and give a gentle warm massage for blocked tear ducts in babies. Although this condition is self-limiting and typically resolves after you start feeling healthy, if your symptoms persist fast for a few weeks, then don't hesitate to visit your doctor.

We all have heard prevention is better than cure. It turns out to be confirmed with pink eye too. Let's see how

10.First, shield your mouth and nose while coughing.

We have been hearing about it a lot for a couple of years. It's not only polite to cover up while coughing but doing this can arrest the transmission of germs, including the influenza virus, which is highly contagious. If you are infected and cough and sneeze openly, the microscopic water droplets can infect other family members or colleagues.

11.Next, avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.

Health experts warn you to keep your hands away from your mouth and nose and from touching and rubbing your eyes when you have an infection. The virus and bacteria can enter your eyes through the conjunctiva. Infection can spread if you rub an infected eye and touch someone else. Whenever you feel the urge to rub your eyes, use a tissue. Dry eyes could be the prime reason you would feel that urge to scratch them. Add some moisturizing drops to your eye care routine. Also, try going off contact lenses and using glasses for a while. If you must wear lenses, remember to follow all lens hygiene instructions and do not sleep without removing them at night.

12.Do you wash and sanitize your hands frequently?

Washing hands can save you from many diseases. Even if you think your hands look clean, they still can have deadly germs. Remember to give your hands a good scrub for at least 20 seconds. Leather up the back of your hands under nail areas and space between fingers. But when soap and water are unavailable, you can try using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure it contains at least 60% of alcohol to get rid of germs. Alcohol can also remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals from your hands. Remember to use the eye medicine only after washing your hands with soap. Put the drops straight into the eye without touching the nozzle. Please keep it away from your eyes, so the infection does not enter the bottle of eye drops.

13.How often do you sanitize your home?

Drawer handles, bathroom surfaces, door knobs, taps, staircase railings, light switches, remote controls, and countertops are a hotspot of germs. They can be cleaned with antiseptic cleansers, disinfecting alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. You can wear disposable gloves and discard them after cleaning. If a sick person is at your home, take extra precautions.

14.Other general sanitary protocols include:Use swimming goggles in the community pool to avoid germs from entering your conjunctiva. 

Never share personal items like nail cutters, washcloths, and tissues. Avoid sharing eye medicines. Avoid allergic substances; if you've used eye makeup or just before having pink eye consider getting new cosmetics.

Have you ever woken up in the morning with puffy under the eyes or painful styes on your eyelid? There is nothing that some easy-peasy home remedies cannot fix. Check out these 17 Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Under Eye Bags or 14 Easy Home Remedies For Styes You Need To Know. Go ahead. Click one, or better yet, watch both and learn how to get gorgeous-looking eyes. Have you ever been affected by pink eye? Let us know in the comments below. 

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