Eye Discharge or Conjunctivitis
Information and Treatment
Conjunctivitis is an infection caused by bacteria
and viruses. This condition occurs in the subcontinent summer months
during the heat and humidity of the great Indian plains. It occurs
inepidemic proportions during the season. Conjunctivitis is one of
the most common and treatable eye infections in children and adults.
Often called "pink eye," it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva,
the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid. This tissue helps
keep the eyelid and eyeball moist. When conjunctivitis occurs in
babies younger than 4 weeks old, it is called neonatal
conjunctivitis or ophthalmia neonatorum. This can be caused by a
blocked tear duct, which can be treated by gentle massage between
the eye and nasal area.
Precipitating Factors of Eye
1. Shortage of water in urban areas.
2. Over-crowding in shanty towns.
3. Poor quality hygiene and sanitation.
4. Flies and more flies.
5. Open sanitation.
6. Swirling dust storms.
Symptoms of Eye Discharge or Conjunctivitis
List of some symptoms of Conjunctivitis
Mostly both eyes are affected, but often one
starts before the other.
The eye is red, with the blood vessels over
the white of the eye more visible and swollen. The lining of the
eyelids also looks redder or pinker than usual.
The eye is sticky, with a discharge, which is
worse when you wake up.
The eye is itchy or painful.
Sometimes people do not like to be in bright
More common sign and symptoms of
Redness in the white of the eye or inner
Greater amount of tears
Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the
eyelashes, especially after sleep (in conjunctivitis caused by
Other discharge from your eye (green or
Itchy eyes (especially in conjunctivitis
caused by allergies)
Burning eyes (especially in conjunctivitis
caused by chemicals and irritants)
Increased sensitivity to light
What can I do to help relieve symptoms?
Protect your eyes from dirt and other irritating
Remove contact lenses, if you wear them.
Place cold compresses on your eyes.
Wash your face and eyelids with mild soap or baby
shampoo and rinse with water to remove irritating substances.
Cause of Eye Discharge or Conjunctivitis
The commonest cause of Conjunctivitis is
infection with bacteria. Allergic reactions, eg hayfever , may cause
conjunctivitis, but do not usually cause a sticky discharge.
Conjunctivitis may be triggered by a virus, bacteria, an allergic
reaction (to dust, pollen, smoke, fumes or chemicals) or, in the
case of giant papillary conjunctivitis, a foreign body on the eye,
typically a contact lens. Bacterial and viral systemic infections
also may induce conjunctivitis. Irritant conjunctivitis can be
caused by chemicals such as those in chlorine and soaps or air
pollutants such as smoke and fumes.
Clinical Features of Eye Discharge or
1. Swollen eyelids, inability to open eyes.
2. Red painful eyes, gritty sensation.
3. Persistent yellow crusty discharge.
4. Low-grade fever may be present.
Treatment of Eye Discharge or Conjunctivitis
1. Wash the eyes as frequently as possible.
2. Clean the eyelids with a soft cloth soaked in warm water at least
three times daily. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in the water.
3. Consult a doctor for antibiotic eye drops.
You are more prone to conjunctivitis after a
cold, but anyone can pick it up. Certainly it is important to avoid
spreading the germs, and anyone with conjunctivitis, and those
treating them, should be scrupulous about washing their hands after
touching the eyes, and disposing of tissues straight into the bin.
1. Do not share the towel of other family
2. Always wash hands with soap after touching the eyes.
3. Keep nails well trimmed.
4. Beware of the flies inside and outside the house
How can I prevent spreading the infection?
Don't touch or rub the infected eye(s).
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
Wash any discharge from your eyes twice a day
using a fresh cotton ball or paper towel. Afterwards, discard the
cotton ball and wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Wash your bed linens, pillowcases, and towels in
hot water and detergent.
Avoid wearing eye makeup.
Don't share eye makeup with anyone else.
Never wear another person's contact lens.
Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Throw
away disposable lenses or be sure to clean extended wear lenses and
all eyewear cases.
Avoid sharing common articles such as unwashed
towels, cups, and glasses.
Wash your hands after applying the eye drops or
ointment to your eye or your child's eye.
Do not use eye drops in a non-infected eye that
were used for an infected one.