We have all gone through that feeling of having our eyes being sealed-shut in the morning. In an instant, we know it’s conjunctivitis. That gritty, painful feeling in your eye is the worst thing to experience early in the morning. The relentless redness and watering make it only worse during the rest of the day. As common as conjunctivitis or pink eye is, it is also as painful and literally annoying. Looking at your child struggling with pink eye or conjunctivitis can be heartbreaking. And while you might want to hug them as they struggle to not rub their eyes, wait! That might not be the best thing to do in this situation.
Health Shots got reached out to pediatrician Dr Neeraj Gupta, to understand what conjunctivitis is and how you can take care of your children without letting the infection spread to you.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids, who go to public school in the US, miss three million school days every year because of pink eye. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of conjunctiva, the outermost transparent layer of eyes. It is also known as eye flu or pink eye. Red eyes, conjunctival swelling, itching, heaviness, irritation and watering are frequent symptoms. Yellowish purulent discharge and or associated fever is often suggestive of bacterial infection. “The common reasons for conjunctivitis are infections (viruses and bacteria), allergy and foreign bodies. Sometimes autoimmune diseases can also cause these symptoms. Associated nasal symptoms (runny, itchy or blocked nose) is suggestive of allergic causes,” says Dr Gupta.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that most types of conjunctivitis can spread by hand to eye contact. It can also spread through contaminated objects. Viral conjunctivitis can also spread through respiratory droplets. However, there is no evidence to show that conjunctivitis can spread by looking.
There are many pain-relieving medicines that can be taken during acute symptoms followed by eye specialist consultation. While going to the doctor to get your kids’ eyes examined is a great idea, there are some steps that you can take at home as well to help relieve your child.
When we think of conjunctivitis, we automatically worry about how easily it spreads! Falling sick while taking care of a sick child might not be the best approach, isn’t it? So besides asking kids not to rub their eyes, there are many practical steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t get it.
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