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Why does Pink Eye Occur? Symptoms, Test For Conjunctivitis Eye Flu

What Is Viral Conjunctivitis - Eye Flu? Symptoms Causes And Diagnosis Test
Health Tips 01 Sep 2023

Viral eye flu is popular by the term pink eye, where the eyes become red. Want to learn about viral eye flu symptoms? Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane conjunctiva lining the eyeball and eyelid.

If the small blood vessels in this area become irritated and swollen, the white portion of the eyes turns pink or red. It is conjunctivitis, which is infectious and painful. This comprehensive 5-minute post narrates the red eye symptoms, causes, treatments, and more.

Understanding Viral Eye Flu Symptoms: Signs of Conjunctivitis

Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a viral infection caused by bacteria or allergic reactions. Several types of conjunctivitis come with a varying range of symptoms. However, the following are the common ones that patients experience at the initial stage:

  • A red-toned or pink eyes
  • Thick, watery discharge builds up on the eyes during the night
  • A gritty feeling in the eyes
  • Itching and burning sensation of eyes
  • Unexplained production of tears
  • Discharge (mucus or pus)
  • Crusting of lashes or eyelids in the morning

The types of viral eye flu, symptoms of conjunctivitis vary from one type to another. There are three types of conjunctivitis: allergic, chemical, and infectious. Based on the type, the symptoms may differ:

1. Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

 The symptoms of bacterial pink eye include:

  • Discharge or pus, which sticks eyelids together
  • Ear infection

2. Allergic Conjunctivitis

 Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis:

  • Occurs in both eyes
  • Produces intense eye itching, swelling, and tearing
  • Occurs with allergic symptoms, including an itchy nose, a scratchy throat, sneezing, asthma etc.

3. Viral Conjunctivitis

 Here's a list of symptoms of conjunctivitis that one experiences in case it is viral:

  • Occurs with other symptoms of flu, respiratory infection, or cold
  • Starts in one eye and spreads to the other within few days 
  • Discharge from eyes is watery

One quick note: Conjunctivitis can also occur by irritants, which produce mucus discharge and watery eyes.

Conjunctivitis Causes: Why Do Pink Eye Occur?

Before understanding the causes of pink eye, you need to know that there are three categories – infectious, allergic, and chemical.

Infectious conjunctivitis has two categories: viral and bacterial.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: It occurs due to staphylococcal/streptococcal bacteria. Touching the eyes with unclean hands may result in bacterial conjunctivitis. Sharing makeup and physical contact with affected person.
  • Viral Conjunctivitis: It occurs due to cold viruses, which can occur when someone with a respiratory infection sneezes or coughs in front of you. It occurs if you have a cold virus and blow your nose hard. As a result, the infection pushes from the respiratory system directly to the eyes.

Did you know chemical conjunctivitis may occur due to air pollutants, chlorine present in pools, chemical exposure, etc?

Want to know the allergic conjunctivitis causes? Well, allergic pink eye occurs due to seasonal allergies. You may get conjunctivitis if you come in contact with pollen or other substances you are allergic to. Also regarded as giant papillary conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis may develop if you wear soft or hard contact lenses that you do not replace frequently.

An Overview of Conjunctivitis Test and Diagnosis

Diagnosing conjunctivitis is not a challenging job for a medical professional who performs the following:

  • A vision screening to check whether the condition has affected your vision
  • External eye tissue check: the conjunctiva, using magnification and bright light
  • Inner eye test to ensure there are no tissues affected
  • A conjunctival tissue smear (performed when an individual suffers from a chronic condition or it improves with treatment)

Besides conducting the above conjunctivitis tests meticulously, the healthcare expert can detect the condition by asking a few questions. The professional may ask you whether you have eye itchiness.

In addition, the Doctors may ask about thick or watery discharge or whether you are experiencing symptoms of conjunctivitis like hay fever or a common cold.

Outlining the Chemical, Bacterial, and Viral Conjunctivitis Treatments

The treatment for the different types of conjunctivitis:

  • Chemical

 The medical practitioner recommends rinsing the eye with saline to ease symptoms of chemical pink eye. The professionals can also prescribe topical steroids if the condition is severe.

  • Bacterial

 Antibiotics are the best treatment for bacterial pink eye. For kids, professionals may recommend ointment. Antibiotic medication eases symptoms faster, but one should complete the course else the condition may reoccur.

  • Viral

 Viral conjunctivitis treatment includes the same medicines required for easing the common cold. The doctor may suggest using a cloth moistened with warm water or a warm compress to soothe the symptoms.

  • Allergic

 The medical professional may prescribe an antihistamine for allergic conjunctivitis to ease the inflammation. Some antihistamines are available as OTC or over-the-counter medicines to reduce allergic symptoms. Anti-inflammatory eye drops can also reduce the severity of the condition.

Is There Any Home Remedy Available?

You may use warm compresses or purchase eye drops to relieve the symptoms. But ensure that you practice these methods under the advice of a medical professional. Your healthcare practitioner may also recommend you stop wearing contact lenses for a few days.

Pink eye may cause inflammation of the cornea in both children and adults, which may affect vision. Prompt treatment and evaluation by the health care provider mitigate the risks of complications like severe eye pain, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. In some cases, the individual may feel that there's something stuck in the eye.

It is advisable to consult a doctor immediately in case of the following symptoms:

  • The pus from the eyes is green or yellow in colour
  • The infected individual is less than five years of age
  • The condition is causing blurred vision
  • The cornea becomes opaque instead of being clear

The physician may ask you to undergo a few tests to assess your condition before suggesting the treatment.

Author Bio:

City X-Ray is a renowned diagnostic centre in Delhi offering diagnosis options like MRI, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays, DEXA, blood tests, and more.

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