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1. What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis (commonly referred to as pinkeye) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a clear thin layer that lines the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. The common symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness, itching and burning in the eyes, a gritty sensation in the eyes, blurred vision and a thick yellow discharge in the eyes that forms a crust during the night.
2. What are the causes of conjunctivitis?
Common causes of conjunctivitis are viruses, bacteria, allergies, a foreign object in the eye, a chemical splash in the eye, ingredients in cosmetics and chlorine in swimming pools. A blocked tear duct in newborns can cause conjunctivitis.
3. How is conjunctivitis diagnosed?
The eye doctor can usually diagnose conjunctivitis by looking at your eyes and asking questions about your recent health history and symptoms. These will help determine whether a virus, bacterium, irritant or allergy is the cause of conjunctivitis.
4. How is conjunctivitis treated?
Treatment of conjunctivitis focuses on relieving the symptoms. Your eye doctor may advise applying warm or cold compresses several times a day, cleaning the eyelids with a moist cloth, avoiding the use of eye makeup and contact lenses, and using artificial tears. In most cases, the symptoms will gradually clear on their own.
5. What self-care measures are recommended to manage conjunctivitis?
Home remedies can help ease the symptoms of conjunctivitis, regardless of the cause. These include using cool compresses, cleaning the eyelids with a damp cloth, lubricating the eyes with eye drops to soothe the burning or irritation and taking pain-relieving medication.