Acute Conjunctivitis, a severe form of pinkeye, is a common and highly uncomfortable eye infection that can develop into a more serious condition. But thanks to the latest diagnostic equipment and treatments in eye care technology, relief can come faster than ever.
What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious inflammation of the conjunctiva experienced by 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. every year. The conjunctiva is the transparent tissue that envelops the whites of the eye and lines the interior surface of the eyelid.
What causes conjunctivitis?
Depending on the cause, conjunctivitis is classified into three types: allergic, infectious, and chemical.
- Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when a person comes into contact with a triggering substance to which they exhibit a pronounced ocular histamine response.
- Infectious conjunctivitis is caused by either a virus or bacteria.
- Chemical conjunctivitis is triggered by irritants like air pollution, chlorinated water, and exposure to noxious chemicals.
Conjunctivitis can also result from a sexually transmitted disease (STD ). Gonorrhea, for example, may be associated with a rare but dangerous form of bacterial conjunctivitis and can lead to vision loss if untreated.
What are the symptoms?
- Whites of eyes are visibly pink
- Inflammation of surrounding tissues
- Swollen eyelids
- Watery discharge
- Eyes may feel “gritty”
- Increased sensitivity to light
How is conjunctivitis diagnosed?
Because conjunctivitis has much in common with other eye disorders, it is misdiagnosed as often as 50 percent of the time. Getting an accurate diagnosis is the key to successful treatment, and a new approach called AdenoPlus is leading the way. AdenoPlus the first in-office test that quickly detects all known serotypes of Adenoviral conjunctivitis with 90% sensitivity and 96% specificity.
The ability to make a rapid diagnosis of conjunctivitis means that eye doctors can better identify and immediately treat contagious patients, prevent the spread of infection, and accurately classify the form of conjunctivitis a patient is presenting with to prescribe the most effective treatment.
How is conjunctivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the type of conjunctivitis:
- Allergic: If possible, the first order of business is to remove or reduce the patient’s exposure to the irritating allergen. Over-the-counter eye drops and cold-compresses can be used to soothe the eyes and surrounding tissues, along with over-the-counter pain relief medication to ease discomfort. Resolution of the condition is typically seen with several days or even sooner.
- Chemical: Treatment for and resolution of chemical conjunctivitis is exactly the same as that indicated for allergic conjunctivitis with the addition of careful and repeated flushing of the eyes immediately after (or as soon as possible) following exposure to the noxious chemical.
- Infectious: Of the two types of infectious forms of conjunctivitis, viral and bacterial, only the latter can be successfully treated with oral or topical antibiotics. The discomfort of both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be eased through the approaches appropriate to the allergic form.
Where can I seek diagnosis and find the best treatment for conjunctivitis?
At Eyecare 20/20, we use AdenoPlus to give our patients a rapid and accurate conjunctivitis diagnosis to make sure we provide the right treatment to bring the most rapid relief. We make it our business to stay abreast of the latest innovations and advancements that allow us to deliver the safest, most effective, and friendliest eye care around. Whether you’re seeking pinkeye treatment, relief for dry eyes, LASIK permanent vision correction, cataract surgery, or any other eye care need, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today we’ll help you more comfortably see a clear future!