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February 23, 2017 | Ophthalmology
Practicing good hygiene is important in maintaining physical health, and there are several diseases and conditions that can be caused in part by bad hygiene. One such disease is called conjunctivitis.
Commonly referred to as pink eye, conjunctivitis is any inflammation or infection of the membrane that covers the eyeball. This membrane is called the conjunctiva, which is where the term “conjunctivitis” comes from. Pink eye causes microscopic blood vessels inside the conjunctiva to become inflamed, causing the visible pink or red color in the eyes many people are familiar with.
In nearly all cases, through hygiene and other methods, pink eye can be prevented.
There are a few specific causes of pink eye including:
In one or both eyes, some of the symptoms of conjunctivitis include:
Most cases of pink eye can be diagnosed easily by your doctor based on your medical history and the visible symptoms you’re showing. In some cases, your doctor might take a sample of secreted liquid from the eye and test it, especially if you’ve had multiple infections or the cornea is affected by a serious infection. In cases where conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, your doctor may recommend changes to allergy treatment.
Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the what caused the conjunctivitis:
With some exceptions for people who have conjunctivitis caused by allergies, pink eye is almost always avoidable by practicing good habits. Pink eye spreads very quickly, but basic hygiene can often stop this spread and keep you safe from any risk. A few habits to practice include:
Most cases of pink eye resolve in around a week or two, maybe a bit longer in some children. Occasionally, conjunctivitis can lead to more severe vision problems, but your doctor will tell you if this is a possibility in your case. If you’re exhibiting symptoms of conjunctivitis and need treatment, speak with your ophthalmologist.
“About Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/about/index.html
“Pink eye (conjunctivitis).” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/basics/definition/con-20022732
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.