Commonly known as ‘pink eye’, Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection of the conjunctiva which is the membrane which lines both the lid of the eye and the eyeball itself.
Do I Have Conjunctivitis?
Some signs you have Conjunctivitis are redness of the eye(s), swelling, itching, burning, discharge and a rough feeling underneath your eyelid(s). There are two types of this infection; allergic and bacterial Conjunctivitis.
If you are experiencing an allergic reaction, you are typically going to be affected in both eyes and experience a lot of itching and most likely some swelling.
If you are experiencing a yellowish discharge and a rough feeling with burning sensations then you are probably dealing with a bacterial form of this infection.
Knowing what type you have is the best way for your doctor to help you treat this irritating problem.
Keep in mind, Conjunctivitis is highly contagious so you need to avoid going out into public and try not to come into contact with people. Staying home from work is required at most jobs, as this infection can spread ridiculously fast.
Depending on the type you have and the severity of the infection, you can miss anywhere from a few days to a week worth of work, or school.
What Caused This?
Things like pollen can cause people to get Allergic Conjunctivitis. Typically, the person is going to experience other signs of an allergy like runny nose. Bacterial Conjunctivitis is caused by either a bacteria or virus that has entered the body.
I Need Solutions!
As with a cold, you are going to need to wait this situation out, allowing your body to get rid of the infection. However, there are a few things you can do to help with the pain and make the whole experience much easier on yourself.
Placing a clean washcloth over your eyes for about 15 minutes at a time can be done throughout the day in order to get rid of Conjunctivitis symptoms. Be careful though, to put the washcloth directly in the wash afterwards so you do not spread the infection on to someone else.
Use hot water if you have the bacterial infection and cold water if you are experiencing the allergic form of this infection.
Throughout each day, you should be cleaning your eyes thoroughly; keeping built up gunk out of your eyes; cleaning from the part of your eye near your nose and working your way out. Leaving this built up gunk is going to cause more problems and could lead to a much worse infection.
Taking Tylenol (or other products with acetaminophen) can help alleviate the pain and swelling that is so commonly associated with Conjunctivitis. There are many over the counter eye drops that can be used to help as well.
There are allergy products available, typically in pill form, that can help alleviate your nasty symptoms and help you feel better faster.
If all else fails, or you want to really nip this problem in the bud; you may want to speak with your doctor. There are antibacterial medications that can help you get back to your daily life as soon as possible.
During this whole process be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and often to avoid spreading. Eat healthy, focusing on vitamins like A and C to help your body get rid of Conjunctivitis quicker.
Do not touch your eyes unless you are cleaning them and when you do, wash your hands and dispose of or clean anything that’s touched your eye recently. Sadly, this means makeup, too. It’s better to be safe than sorry, though.