Your eyes feel itchy, you’re teary but it’s not because you’re sad, and they are also a shade of red that you’re sure they weren’t even a day back. A trip to the doctor and you’re told what you kind of knew all along- it is conjunctivitis!
Conjunctivitis is quite a common disease which can be caused by various things like the presence of certain viruses, bacteria, or different kinds of irritants that may be present in your shampoo or the chlorine laden pool that you took a dip in the other day. If you wear contact lenses, you can also expect it to be caused by a certain kind of allergy. What these do is that they cause the inner lid of the eye and the thin layer that covers the eyeball (conjunctiva) to get irritated or inflamed.
You’ve probably had conjunctivitis (or pink eye, as it is also called) once in your life or at least know of someone who has. Either way, it is probably not a shocker that it is a menace to deal with. Keeping this in mind, we have curated a list that will help you get through this a little easily.
How to Deal with Conjunctivitis?
1. Don’t self-medicate
Okay, firstly. Just the fact that you have red-eye does not mean you have conjunctivitis. Don’t just ask your brother to pass on the drop he used when he had it, or drop in at the chemists’ for his suggestion. There’s a reason that ophthalmologists or your family physician exists! You don’t want to worsen your condition by applying the wrong drops or having the wrong medicines(1).
2. Make hygiene a priority
If your conjunctivitis is due to viral infections, it has a high chance of spreading. So we recommend that you keep yourself cleans so that the disease does not spread further. Wash your hands regularly with soap; make sure your pillows and towels are washed regularly in hot water and definitely don’t share them(2).
Carrying a sanitizer where you may not have access to water or soap always comes in handy.
[ Read: How to Find What You are Allergic To? ]
3. Get those shades on
Wearing dark shades can be a great way to soothe your eyes. When you contract vial conjunctivitis, your eyes can become photosensitive because of the infection in the eye(3). Since dark glasses resist your exposure to bright light, they can be very relaxing. Moreover, it also makes sure that you don’t touch your eyes constantly and risk yourself and others by spreading the infection(4).
4. Get the contacts off
If you use contact lenses, getting them off and wearing glasses is one of the first things you should do. In fact, get rid of the lenses that you were wearing when you contracted conjunctivitis. Inappropriate use of contact lenses can actually be why you have conjunctivitis in the first place!
5. Follow basic self-care
Sometimes, cleanliness and self-care are enough treatment. Compressing your eyes with a cold and wet cloth multiple times in a day can work wonders in case of viral conjunctivitis, where you don’t really need to take any medicines.
Cleaning the area around the eyes with a dab of cotton soaked in water helps clean up any secretions or discharge that may have accumulated. This happens a lot in bacterial conjunctivitis where sticky discharges may even result in the eyelids sticking together.
If your condition does need medication, do apply or have prescribed drops, ointments, antibiotics as prescribed, religiously!
We hope you don’t contract conjunctivitis- and with some of these tips for maintaining a good hygiene, you probably won’t. But if you do, you know how to deal with this menace without losing your cool!