The trouble with conjunctivitis is that it’s not actually one single illness; it’s 3. Most parents have had to contend with an outbreak of bacterial conjunctivitis at their child’s school (it is highly contagious) and so become familiar with the signs and symptoms.
However, if you self-diagnose and start a treatment plan, you could actually be inhibiting your recovery, rather than accelerating it. The only way to get a guaranteed diagnosis is through a professional eye exam – if you live in the Chestermere area (or nearby in a smaller community or on an acreage), then visit our practice and let us arrange one for you.
Conjunctivitis can spread like wildfire, so it’s important to be diagnosed as soon as you show symptoms.
Conjunctivitis has three varieties:
Bacterial conjunctivitis is contagious, and can be spread by unclean hands, and contaminated makeup. It can also be associated with the eyelid condition blepharitis, or sinus infections.
Highly contagious, viral conjunctivitis is carried by the same pathogens which carry the common cold and flu viruses, as well as other respiratory infections.
This mostly affects those who already suffer from seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, and is usually temporary. During your exam we should be able to help identify the trigger behind your symptoms.
The conjunctiva is the skin which lines the whites of the eye, and it becomes visibly red and inflamed.
Excessive tear production
A burning or itchy sensation in the eye
The urge to continuously rub your eye (try to avoid!)
Unusual discharge from your eyes
The most common recommendation for conjunctivitis is to let the condition naturally progress and disappear. For severe cases of bacterial red eye, you may be prescribed traditional antibiotics or antibiotic eye drops. In all cases, cool compresses go a long way to alleviate discomfort and make things more bearable.
Following your diagnosis, we will provide plenty of treatment information and can answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to pop in to the practice!