Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “sore eyes” in the Philippines, or “pink eye” in other countries, is an infection of the eye wherein the outer part of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid becomes inflamed.
It can be very painful, and it’s not a great experience for kids as there’s a discharge of fluid, itchiness, and a burning sensation in their eyes.
So, how can moms and dads keep their kids from being infected with the dreaded sore eyes?
It can be a viral, or a bacterial infection
Most of the time, conjunctivitis is caused by a viral infection. This happens when the eye gets exposed to infection, such as when your kid rubs or scratches their eyes, or if they touch something dirty and accidentally place their dirty hands near their face. It can also spread from one person infected with the virus to another through direct contact.
It can also be from a bacterial infection, such as from swimming pools or public places. Allergies can also sometimes trigger the inflammation.
How can it be avoided?
First off, make sure that your children always wash their hands. Hand washing doesn’t only help prevent conjunctivitis, but it also helps prevent a host of other diseases. Frequent hand washing should be a habit that you teach your child, that way they can always keep their hands clean, and free from germs.
Additionally, they should avoid scratching their eyes if they feel that it’s itchy. That’s because if they scratch their eyes, they might introduce bacteria that can potentially cause infection.
They should also be mindful of anything that they put near their eyes, as eyeglasses/sunglasses, face towels, makeup, and contact lenses can potentially cause infection if they’re not clean. Using goggles when swimming can also help prevent infection as the goggles protect their eyes from any bacteria or viruses that might be lurking in the water.
Avoiding people who have conjunctivitis is also important, as the virus can come from the objects that the infected person has touched. All of these steps are good ways when it comes to avoiding sore eyes.
How can it be treated?
When it comes to treating conjunctivitis, treatment is relatively straightforward. For viral conjunctivitis, it usually clears up on its own after 1-2 weeks. In some cases, your doctor might provide antiviral medication if it’s caused by the herpes simplex virus.
For bacterial conjunctivitis, it also clears up in 1-2 weeks, and the doctor might provide eyedrops or ointments that help manage the infection. Antibiotics can also help speed up the healing process, but it would depend on your doctor’s recommendation.
For allergic conjunctivitis, antihistamines or decongenstants and steroids can help with the inflammation. It would all depend on your doctor’s recommendation.
If you think that the case of conjunctivitis might be severe, or if it lasts longer than 1-2 weeks, then it’s best to consult your doctor for help.
Source: tgp.com.ph, goodeyes.com, mayoclinic.org
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