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Conjunctivitis: Symptoms, Treatments, and Ways to Prevent Getting One

It can happen to anyone. To suffer from conjunctivitis is not rare, but what are the causes and how can it be prevented?

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the thin layer inside the inner part of the eyelid (the conjunctiva). It can be caused by several factors and can be viral, bacterial or an allergic reaction. The eye may have been in contact with a virus and hence develop a viral form of conjunctivitis. Your eye can also contract conjunctivitis if it is exposed to bacterias (contained in chemicals such as pool chlorine or air pollution, for example) or it can become red because of allergens from animals, make-up or pollen.

Symptoms
A red, sore eye is a common symptom. In the case of a viral conjunctivitis, pus-like secretions can sometimes form around the eyelids. If you think you are suffering from conjunctivitis, it is important that you make an appointment with your family doctor or an optometrist because the infection may be treatable only with antibiotics. Also, it is important to respect a few hygiene rules so that you prevent the infection from spreading to your loved ones: be careful not to rub your eyes too much and make sure to wash your hands very often. In addition to avoiding contagion with your colleagues and relatives, you will also avoid contracting it in your other eye!

How is conjunctivitis treated?
It really depends on a the pathology contracted! Sometimes, just rinsing your eyes with water can be enough to prevent conjunctivitis from developing further. If your conjunctivitis is viral, you will need to take antibiotics to heal it. You can get your prescription by consulting your family doctor, a doctor at the walk-in clinic or by making an appointment with an optometrist at the nearest IRIS store. Our team is alert when it ones to emergencies and will book your appointment as soon as possible. If your conjunctivitis is caused by an allergy or a chemical reaction, it can sometimes be treated by simply applying ointment or drops which you can find at the pharmacy. Do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist for advice. In some more severe cases of allergic conjunctivitis, anti-allergy drops may be prescribed by your optometrist and may be more effective. The symptoms usually disappear within 7 to 10 days after starting the treatment.

How to prevent conjunctivitis?
If you like outdoor activities, where dust particles are suspended in the air, protect your eyes! For example, wear safety glasses if you are renovating or mowing the lawn, wear sunglasses when you are gardening and wear sunglasses when you go for a walk in the countryside or in the forest.

And if you have allergies:
-Make sure to keep your eyes away from the animals you are allergic to.
-During pollen season try not to drive with your car windows open (spring).
-Avoid places where there is a lot of carpet. They may contain allergens and mites.
-Make sure your home and work environment are cleaned properly.
-Apply a cold towel on your closed eyes to reduce redness and tingling.
-Try not to rub your eyes as rubbing them gives you temporary relief, but will only worsens the inflammation.

If you notice that your eye is starting to become red and that it feels a little painful, the best thing you can do is to contact us! Our optometrists will take the time to examine your eye to prescribe the treatment that will allow your eye to heal so you can go back to your daily activities!

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