Conjunctivitis and Health Care Provider

Topics: Conjunctivitis, Bacteria, Antiviral drug Pages: 3 (667 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Conjunctivitis Student Sheet
Caitlin Joiner
What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the clear membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis is sometimes called pink eye. How does it occur?

Conjunctivitis can be caused by many things, including infection by viruses or bacteria. Viruses that cause colds may lead to conjunctivitis. Some bacteria that cause conjunctivitis are chlamydia, staphylococci, and streptococci. Severe conjunctivitis, such as that caused by gonococci, can cause blindness. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis can be spread easily from person to person. They can be spread by coughing or sneezing. Bacteria or viruses can get in your eyes through contact with contaminated objects, including: • hands

• washcloths or towels
• cosmetics
• false eyelashes
• soft contact lenses.
• etc.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include:
• itchy or scratchy eyes
• redness
• sensitivity to light
• swelling of eyelids
• watery discharge
• discharge of pus.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will ask about your medical history and if you have been near someone who has conjunctivitis. Your provider will examine your eyes. He or she will also check for enlarged lymph nodes near your ear and jaw. If the conjunctivitis appears to be caused by bacteria, your provider may get lab tests of a sample of the pus to see what type of bacteria are present. How is it treated?

Like a cold, viral conjunctivitis will usually go away on its own, even without treatment. However, your health care provider may prescribe eye drops to help control your symptoms. Antihistamine pills may also relieve the itching and redness. If you have bacterial conjunctivitis, your health care provider will prescribe antibiotic eye drops. You can also help your eyes get better by washing them gently to remove any pus or crusts. Then dry them gently with a clean towel. For...
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