Etiology: The conjuctiva is the mucous membrane that lines eyelids and is reflected onto the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of this mucous membrane.
CAUSES: Conjunctivitis is highly contagious when it is caused by a viral infection.
Factors that can contribute to the disease include: bacterial infection, injury to the eye, allergies, and substances that are irritating to the eye such as fumes, smoke, contact lens solutions, chlorine from swimming pools, chemicals, make-up, or any other foreign substance that enters the eye.
SYMPTOMS: Eyes may appear swollen and bloodshot; they are often itchy and irritated. Because the infected membrane is often filled with pus in conjuncivitis, the eyelids often stick together after being closed for long periods. If pain and blurred vision occur, seek medical attention immediately.
Pink eye associated with hay fever can be treated with drops containing steroids, which must be obtained from the doctor, and used under his supervision.
A bacterial infection is typically treated with antibiotics if the eye does not heal within 4 days of supplemental use.
If the eyelids are swollen, try a peeled and grated fresh potato, wrap it with gauze, and place it over the eyes. It acts as an astringent and has a healing effect.
To make a good eye wash, dissolve 1/2 tsp. aloes and 1 tsp. boric acid in 1 cup of water.
Another eye wash: steep 1 tsp. goldenseal, 1/2 tsp. myrrh and 2 heaping tsp. boric acid in 1 pint boiling water. Add 1 tsp. of the infusion to 1/2 cup water and use.
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