Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes that cover the white of the eyes and the inner eyelid. Conjunctivitis begins in one eye and spreads to the other. After a couple of days it may affect one eye more than the other. This condition is very common. There are a lot of causes of conjunctivitis. Treatment depends on what caused the inflammation.
There are different types of conjunctivitis and each type has its on cause.
* Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria that can come from a persons skin, their own respiratory tract, or can be caught from another person. It can be caused by bacteria such as staphylococci, streptococci, or haemophilus. This affects both eyes. The eyes feel gritty and produce a sticky discharge. After waking the eyes may be stuck together. Most cases clear up on their own. However, antibiotics usually speed up the process. The crusty discharge should be removed with a clean towel and cool water.
*Viral conjunctivitis usually appears when a person has a cold. It is caused by the adenovirus. This type of conjunctivitis can spread quickly and cause an outbreak. It can cause problems for several weeks. The eyes become very red and have a watery discharge. The symptoms are very similar to those of a cold. Drops can be used to help with the irritation. However, there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Good hygiene should be used as this type is very contagious.
*Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by pollen, dust mites, or cosmetics. It is usually found in people who suffer from other allergies. The eyes will itch. There may also be a stringy discharge. Usually comes and goes as the seasons change. Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with antihistamine drops.
*Chlamydial conjunctivitis is caused by chlamydia trachomatis. This organism may also affect other parts of the body and can cause the venereal disease chlamydia. The eyes become very red. The corneas can also become infected. This type is treated with chlorotetracycline and tetracycline tablets.
*Reactive conjunctivitis is caused by irritants as chemicals, smoke, or fumes.
Conjunctivitis usually will clear up on its own. Medication help relieve the symptoms associated with conjunctivitis. A doctor can examine the eyes and make a diagnosis from the examination. If the treatment does not improve the condition of the eyes then a swab may need to be taken. Conjunctivitis can spread. Good hygiene, such as washing your hands can reduce the spread of the condition.