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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): The surge is coming from what?



Nowadays, the importance of health is frequently overlooked in our hectic life, many aspects of the environment may worsen health problems. Conjunctivitis is life disease of an eye and anyone is susceptible to the disease because it is highly contagious. It mainly caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi, allergy, exposure to chemicals or irritants or long-term presence of rigid contact lenses.

Conjunctivitis is one of the eye infections that have been rising sharply in India. Numerous cases of conjunctivitis have been reported in Delhi and the surrounding areas amid the heavy rainfall. It may differ in occurrence according to age, sex, and climate. Children under the age of seven had the greatest diagnostic rates, with the peak frequency happening between the ages of 0 and 4 years. For women, the second maximum of distribution happens at age 22, and for men, it happens at age 28. In general, women are diagnosed with conjunctivitis in the emergency department at slightly higher rates than males.

A conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the white portion of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Infection of the conjunctiva is known as conjunctivitis and it results in redness, eye discharge, burning or stinging sensation, swelling, tearing and blurred vision. Infection caused by Adenovirus results in conjunctivitis. On the other hand, bacterial conjunctivitis is typically caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus because they live on skin, and can contaminate products such as eye makeup. Conjunctivitis is less frequently caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia infections.

Conjunctivitis comes in a variety of forms that can be distinguished as follows:

Viral conjunctivitis mainly caused by a virus, such as adenovirus, and is highly contagious. It often occurs in conjunction with an upper respiratory infection, like the common cold.

Bacterial conjunctivitis referred as bacterial infections, often due to Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.

Allergic conjunctivitis caused by allergies to substances like pollen, pet dander, or dust.

Chemical conjunctivitis more likely happens when exposure to irritating substances, such as chemicals, fumes, or foreign bodies. It leads to redness, burning, and watering of the eyes.

The condition affects newborns and can be caused by various factors, including bacterial or viral infections acquired during childbirth, blocked tear ducts, or exposure to irritating substances known as neonatal conjunctivitis.

Making an accurate diagnosis of conjunctivitis presents a number of challenges, typically involves a medical evaluation by a healthcare professional. Diagnosis of conjunctivitis includes relevant patient’s medical history, physical examination of the eyes and eyelids is conducted by healthcare professional, laboratory test like PCR (Polymeric Chain Reaction) is use for diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis is usually self-limiting, but most of the time it needs an adequate treatment. It is often treated with the help of antibiotic eye drops and ointments, antibiotics including Erythromycin, Bacitracin are commonly used for treating bacterial conjunctivitis. Some of the over-the-counter drugs are also useful in management of the disease such as cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine, etc. are useful in treating the condition. Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers are recently prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment. Conjunctivitis in newborns has to be evaluated and treated by a doctor right away. Depending on the reason, the strategy may change, but generally, antibiotics or antiviral drugs are used.

The risk of conjunctivitis may reduce by including appropriate hygiene habits and staying away from particular allergens or irritants. Hygiene habits involves frequent hand washing, avoid sharing personal items, better contact lens hygiene, protecting eyewear may diminish the risk of inflammation to conjunctiva. Furthermore, other ways to minimize the risk includes a balanced diet, do regular exercise, and manage stress to support your overall health. If you suspect you have conjunctivitis or have been in contact with someone who infected, it’s important to take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of the condition. This may include practicing good hygiene, avoiding close contact with people, and follow the advice of a healthcare professional.

When it comes to our health, we should not neglect the fact that ‘Hygiene is two third of our health.’ The infection can be reduced by taking proper medication along with taking care of cleanliness and practicing good hygiene.

The Author is Mr. Pavankumar Wankhade, Assistant Professor and Ms. Snehal Sawale, B.Pharm Final Year student, Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Pharmacy, Akurdi, Pune.

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