Our eyes tell a story, they allow others to see in us things like our emotions, our compassion, and our desires. They are said to be the mirrors of our souls. The mirrors to your soul can become hazy and irritated when you get a condition known as conjunctivitis.
What is Conjunctivitis?
You have more than likely heard the term “pink-eye”, maybe “red-eye” more frequently than you have heard conjunctivitis. This condition is caused by an infection in an area of your eye that is known as the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is located in the inner most part of your eyelid, and the outer most parts of your eye. The condition is usually more irritating than it is serious.
Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
There are some common signs and symptoms that let you know when you have a case of conjunctivitis, such as:
- Your eyes becoming reddened, or appearing blood shot
- Your eyes itching
- Swelling in or around the eyelid
- Feeling as if you have sand in your eye. A discharge coming from the eye that is generally stringy, yellowish in color, and opaque
- A discharge that causes the eye to become crusted during sleep often making the opening of the eye impossible
- Burning or painful sensations in the eye
Types of Conjunctivitis
Because conjunctivitis can occur as the result of several different causes the names of the types are associated with the main cause. Some of the more common types of conjunctivitis are:
- Allergic conjunctivitis: as the name implies this condition is a result of an allergic reaction to dust, pollen, and things of this nature. When you are exposed to an allergen the body responds with the production of immunoglobulin that creates mast cells in your mucous lining of your eye. Histamines are then released and cause the red eyes, the itching, the watering, and the other symptoms that are often called allergy eyes
- Infectious conjunctivitis can be in both eyes or may affect only one eye. This type is highly contagious and almost always produces a thick discharge that is yellow or greenish in color when it is caused by a bacteria, and when it is caused by a viral infection the discharge appears to be more watery. The common cold is associated with these two causes.
What to do When you have Conjunctivitis
See your doctor to determine the cause of your conjunctivitis. If you have a bacterial type your doctor will want to prescribe antibiotics in the form of an ointment or drops you put in the eye.
If the conjunctivitis is caused from a viral infection the use of antibiotics will not help, since antibiotics have no effect on viruses. When you have this type you have to allow the condition to run its course. You can however apply cold compresses to the eye to help alleviate some of the swelling and discomfort.
Try your best not to rub your eyes as this only causes more inflammation to occur.