It is the swelling of the eye conjunctive caused by infection or allergy.
The most common kind of conjunctivitis is produced by bacterial infection and, in isolated cases, by viral processes.
It is highly contagious.
Despite having various defensive mechanisms, the eye is not sterile; on the contrary, it has a normal flora of bacteria generally not pathogenic, and tears carry out an important washing and defensive function.
Acute conjunctivitis can be caused by inoculation of virulent germs or by some injuries that break the defensive mechanisms.
We should take into account that certain bacteria reside in the pharynx and nasopharynx, and due to the conduct finger / mouth / nose / eye in children (and adults) contamination is produced by direct inoculation.
The connection of the nasopharynx with the conjunctival sac and the middle ear explains the frequent association of middle otitis and acute conjunctivitis.
(30% of the conjunctivitis cases are accompanied by middle otitis).
Depending on the germ which is involved the eye can get red, there may be mucopurulent secretion and formation of pseudomembranes, edema of both eyelids or ulceration of the cornea because of invasion of the superficial layers, and swelling.
So as to determine whether the conjunctivitis is baterial or viral we should bear the following in mind:
Frequent among schoolchildren Associated with pharyngitis
Associated with secretions
Associated with middle otitis
In these cases the symptoms varies since the eye pruritus (itch), the reddening and the tears discomfort in the presence of light are cardinal signs and symptoms.
There are seasonal exacerbations and these children also suffer from other illnesses such as rhinitis, eczema and others with family background.
Many patients who wear contact lenses often have conjunctivitis as a result of allergic reactions to the preserving substances present in cleaning solutions for the lenses.
Lab tests must be done on neonates to exactly determine the germ involved, especially in women of high risk.
Acute conjunctivitis which is not complex can be cured with or without treatment in about 7 days, if it persists special cultures must be done.
Although conjunctivitis limits itself, the topical use of antibiotics accelerates the cure (between 3 and 5 days).
In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, antihistaminics can be prescribed.
It is important to remember the hygiene of utensils and the continuous washing of hands in order to avoid propagation.