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Health Scan: November 2019 - www.healthscan.biz
A thin, transparent membrane that lines the inner side of the eyelid and lies over the white part of the eyeball is conjunctiva. Inflammation of the conjunctiva is known as Conjunctivitis or pinkeye. During inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva,small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become more visible as they get swollen and become reddish and that is why the white part of eye appears reddish or pink. Pink eye is irritating, but  rarely it is serious and affects the vision. During conjunctivitis,a sticky discharge (pus) oozes from the eyes  with a pricking sensation. In general,conjunctivitis occurs in people whose immune system is compromised. Conjunctivitis clears up with no long-term problems when proper care is taken to prevent its spread and by following all of the doctor's recommendations . Conjunctivitis in the newborn may cause blindness if not treated Causes and treatment Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by allergies,irritation,fungal, viral or bacterial infections, injury and in babies an incompletely opened tear duct.Conjunctivitis can be contagious, and its spread can be limited by early diagnosis and treatment. The discomfort in the eye can be lessened by the treatment and it depends on the causative factors.Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients can be used to relieve inflammation, redness, pain and blurry vision.  Allergic conjunctivitis Allergy-causing substances such as pollen or animal dander, affect  both eyes causing intense itching, tearing and inflammation of the eyes, sneezing and watery nasal discharge. Allergic conjunctivitis can be reduced by the use of artificial tears. If conjunctivitis is persistent, it may require the use of topical steroid drops. Allergy eye drops can control most allergic conjunctivitis. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a combination of drugs to improve symptoms.  Conjunctivitis resulting from irritation conjunctivitis may be caused due to an irritation from a chemical stain, a foreign object, shampoo, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine that had fallen into the eyes. Watery eyes and mucous discharge are the symptoms which may clear up on their own within a day. Generally, flushing and cleaning the eye may get rid of the chemical or object that causes redness and irritation. If the symptoms are not relieved in initial flushing, it will be better to visit a doctor or eye specialist as soon as possible. If the symptoms persist, the chemical may cause permanent eye damage. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis occur along with cold or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat. Both types of conjunctivitis are highly contagious.   Most of the conjunctivitis cases are caused by a virus and most of viral conjunctivitis cases are mild and clear up in 7 to 14 days without treatment and without any long-term consequences.But some viral conjunctivitis cases may take upto 2 to 3 weeks or more to clear up. Generally, viral conjunctivitis has no specific cure.Symptomatic relief could be availed by the use of cool compresses and artificial tears. Topical drops containing corticosteroids may be prescribed to relieve inflammation. But to treat more serious forms of viral conjunctivitis caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus, antiviral medication prescribed by a doctor is required.Antibiotic drugs are not effective against viruses as they will not cure viral conjunctivitis.  If the bacterial conjunctivitis is mild, it may get better in 2 to 5 days without antibiotic treatment and without causing  any complications but it can take 2 weeks to cure completely. If the conjunctivitis occurs in people whose immune system is compromised, or caused by certain bacteria, the doctor may prescribe antibiotic medication in the form of either topical eye drops or ointment. Antibiotics may help shorten the length of infection, reduce complications, and reduce the spread to others. Conjunctivitis due to  injury to the conjunctiva may occur due to any foreign substance or irritant.  In some new born babies, a blocked or incompletely opened tear duct may cause conjunctivitis. Home Remedies ●	10 grams of cleaned Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) should be boiled in 1 liter water for at least 20-25 minutes and the water should be strained and filtered with a clean white cloth. This water may be used as an eyewash to get relief from itching, pain and inflammation, ●	Few drops of freshly prepared coriander juice or amla mixed with honey may be administered in both the eyes 2-3 times in a day to get relief from irritation and pain. ●	potato peels  can be applied on the eyes to reduce the inflammation. Risk factors ●	Exposure to allergens may cause allergic conjunctivitis ●	Exposure to people infected with the viral or bacterial form of conjunctivitis ●	Using contact lenses, that are not cleaned properly ●	sharing towels or washcloths ●	sharing eye cosmetics or personal eye care items  PRECAUTIONS : Practicing good hygiene can control the spread of conjunctivitis. If a person is already suffering from conjunctivitis,  •	Hands should be washed with soap and warm water for at Conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis is a common condition that causes redness and inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye called ‘ conjunctiva’ Sandhya A Contd..Next page