Conjunctivitis

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection of the membranes that surround your eyeballs. It’s usually caused by a virus or bacteria,  but allergies and ‘foreign bodies’- such as grit or dust, can also be blamed. Infective conjunctivitis spreads easily in families by the accidental touching of infected eyes and then touching a commonly-used surface. However, it can be contained through proper hygiene measures such as regular handwashing with disinfectant soap;—whereas viral conjunctivitis spreads through the air and is more difficult to control. There is one type of conjunctivitis that affects new-borns in particular. This can be serious. See your doctor straight away if you notice that  your baby is developing any unusual symptoms in their eye / eyes.

Symptom summary

  • Crusts around the eyes.
  • Red or pink eyes.
  • Discharge from the eyes.
  • Sticky eyelids.
  • Itchy or sore eyes.

Prevention tips

Medical Practices

Change the bed
Wash your bed sheets, pillowcases, and towels in hot water and detergent to prevent your chances of being re-infected.

Medical Practices

Don’t share
This really is a contagious infection, so stop it in its tracks by making sure that you and your children don’t share towels, pillows, sunglasses or anything else that comes into contact with your eyes.

Nutrition

Have a peanut butter sandwich
Eat foods rich in vitamin D including bread, oats, nuts, spinach and lettuce as they enhance the immune system and make our eyes less vulnerable to infection.

Medical Practices

Stop rubbing
Conjunctivitis can make your eyes sore and itchy but rubbing or touching them can actually make the infection worse. Don’t touch!

Hygiene Habit

Wash your hands
How many times a day do we absent-mindedly touch our eyes? Hundreds! This is why it is important to regularly wash your hands with an antibacterial soap  offering powerful germ protection to help stop the spread of conjunctivitis in your home.

Mythbusters

  • I can only catch conjunctivitis from someone else with conjunctivitis…

    The same bacteria that give one person an ear infection or a cold can give another this eye infection! And conjunctivitis caused by allergies or ‘foreign bodies’ can develop independently.

  • Conjunctivitis isn’t contagious if it’s being treated…

    Not true! Antibiotics can only fight bacterial conjunctivitis — and even then they  don’t immediately stop the bacteria from spreading. If multiple members in your family have viral conjunctivitis, then the infection is still hugely, if not more so, contagious!

Medical source : British Health Authority

References:

View full list of infections