Conjunctivitis, also known as eye flu or pink eye, is a common eye condition in which conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the white of the eye and lining the eyelids, becomes inflamed. In simpler words, it is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, a transparent membrane covering the front of the eye.
Conjunctivitis is caused due to viral or bacterial infection, or may result from an allergic reaction or irritation of the conjunctiva such as, by smoke, pollution, or ultraviolet light. Bacterial conjunctivitis may be caused by any of the several types of bacteria. Viral conjunctivitis can occur in epidemics caused by one of the viruses responsible for the common cold.
Pink eye may also be produced due to working in artificial light, due to stress, due to the defects in diet and lifestyle. Newborn babies sometimes develop this problem. This can happen when an infection is transmitted to the baby's eyes from the mother's vagina during the birth. This form of conjunctivitis is usually caused by the microorganisms responsible for certain STDs such as gonorrhea and genital herpes.
Allergic conjunctivitis is a common feature of hay fever and of allergy to dust, pollen, and other airborne substances. The condition may also be triggered by chemicals founds in eye drops, cosmetics, or contact lens solutions. It often runs in families.
The affected eye become red, and may look alarming, but the condition is rarely serious. One or both of the eyes may be affected, and in some cases, it begins in one eye then spreads to the other. Pink eye is usually highly contagious and the infection spreads from one person to another through clothes, food and air.
The sides of the eyeballs become red, burning and dry with watery secretion and sometimes with pus. After waking up from the bed in the morning the eyelashes will be stick together and it is difficult to open them.
1. Redness of the white of the eye
2. Grittiness and uncomfortable sensation in the eye
3. Swelling and itching of the eyelids
4. Discharge that may be yellowish and thick or clear and watery
5. Yellowish and thick or clear and watery discharge from the eyes
6. Problem becomes chronic with regular exposure to dust, smoke and cold winds
The symptoms can be relieved by bathing the eye with artificial tears. To avoid spreading infection, wash your hands and do not share washcloths or towels. If your eye becomes red and painful, you should consult your doctor to avoid the possibility of more serious condition. You doctor probably will make a diagnosis from your symptoms. If infection is suspected, he may take a sample of the discharge to identity the cause.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated by applying antibiotic drops or ointment. In such cases, the symptoms usually clear up within 2-3 days. However, the treatment should be continued for 2-10 days, even if the symptoms improve, to ensure the eradication of infection.
Vital conjunctivitis may be treated with eye drops containing an antiviral drug. Although other types of vital conjunctivitis cannot be treated, their symptoms usually clear 2-3 weeks. If you are susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis, stay away from exposure to triggering substances. Anti-allergic eye drops can be used to ease the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe eye-drops or oral anti-allergic drugs in such case.
Detoxify your body by adopting fresh juice diet for 10-15 days. Usually orange, pears, apple, pineapple and grapes are used. Raw fruit juice of carrots and spinach are very helpful. Banana is contraindicated.
Breakfast starts with fruit juices. Lunch starts with salad of vegetables with chapattis and butter or the whole bread. In dinner, you can take steamed vegetable (except potatoes) along with fresh fruits and nuts. Avoid use of more of starchy, pastry, sugary foods, sugar jams, fast foods, soft drinks, pudding white bread and refined cereals.
1. Take 3 to 6 g of triphala powder twice a day. Triphala is an ayurvedic formulation that consists of three fruits, amla, harada and behada.
2. Soak triphala powder overnight. In the morning, strain through a clean cloth. Use this solution both for drinking and as eyewash. It is beneficial in most eye problems.
3. Make a decoction by boiling freshly dried coriander (dhaniya). Filter and use as an eye wash to treat the oozing, burning and redness of the eyes. It is very effective home remedy for conjunctivitis.
4. Put rose water (gulab jal) on the eyelids as eye drops.
5. Mix powdered alum (fitkari) into rose water (gulab jal) and carefully filter it through a muslin cloth. Put 2 or 3 drops of this solution into the eyes.
6. Rest the eyes by closing them. This will relieve pain and strain.
7. Bilva (bael) leaves are popular home remedies for conjunctivitis. The fresh juice extracted from the bilva leaves should be properly filtered through a muslin cloth. Use as eye drops, or make a paste out of pounded leaves and apply to the eyelids.
8. Do not rub your eyes. Keep an eye pad made of layers of gauze for a few hours.
9. Chamomile tea bags are beneficial in conjunctivitis. Moist chamomile tea bags and place over the closed eyes for 10 minutes to get faster relief.
10. Wash the eyes with cold water to soothe them.
11. Wear dark glasses to prevent infection to others.
12. Marigold (genda) has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that make the marigold compress helpful in treating pink eye.
13. Avoid bright light. Use sunglasses and a big hat before going out in the sun.
14. A cold foment gives immediate relief in conjunctivitis. Saturate a towel with cold water. Squeeze excess water and use it to cover your eyes gently. Cover this with a piece of warm cloth to retain temperature for long. Repeat the process as foment gets warm. Perform this procedure for an hour; later cover the eye with triphala water.