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Conjunctivitis Aka Apollo - Meaning, Causes And Prevention

1 month ago | Medical

It’s Apollo season! Time to take cover.

Apollo, medically known as Conjunctivitis, aka Pink Eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. It is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction, or — in babies — an incompletely opened tear duct.

Conjunctivitis is popularly known as Apollo in western Nigeria.

Conjunctivitis happens when the small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.

Children get it a lot as it is highly contagious. (it spreads rapidly in schools and day-care centers), but it’s rarely serious and very unlikely to damage your vision, especially if you find it and treat it quickly. 

When you take care to prevent its spread and do all the things your doctor recommends, pinkeye clears up with no long-term problems.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis are very common and obvious. The most common symptoms include;

  • Redness in one or both eyes

  • Itchiness in one or both eyes

  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes

  • A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning

  • Tearing

Even though Conjunctivitis is usually not a serious condition, there are other conditions that may come in the form of conjunctivitis. These serious conditions also cause redness in the eyes but they can be accompanied by eye pain, a feeling that something is stuck in the eye, blurred vision, light sensitivity and lots more. If you experience any of these kinds of symptoms and more, please seek urgent help.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

Causes of Conjunctivitis include:

  • Viruses and Bacteria; Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can occur along with colds or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren't cleaned properly or aren't your own can cause bacterial conjunctivitis. Both types are very contagious. They are spread through direct or indirect contact with the liquid that drains from the eye of someone who's infected. One or both eyes may be affected. Elisca eye drop is effective for the treatment of these 

  • Allergies; Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen. In response to allergens, your body produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Your body releases Histamine (part of a special antibody trigger cell called mast cells) which can produce a number of allergy signs and symptoms, including red or pink eyes.

  • A chemical splash or foreign object in the eye; Irritation from a chemical splash or foreign object in your eye is also associated with conjunctivitis. Sometimes flushing and cleaning the eye to rid it of the chemical or object causes redness and irritation. Signs and symptoms, which may include watery eyes and a mucous discharge, usually clear up on their own within about a day.

 

Risk factors for Conjunctivitis include:

  • Exposing yourself to something for which you have an allergy (allergic conjunctivitis)

  • Exposing yourself to someone infected with the viral or bacterial form of conjunctivitis

  • Using contact lenses, especially extended-wear lenses

How to Prevent Conjunctivitis

Practice good hygiene to control the spread of pink eye. For instance:

  • Don't touch your eyes with your hands.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Use a clean towel and washcloth daily.

  • Don't share towels or washcloths.

  • Change your pillowcases often.

  • Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.

  • Don't share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.

It's okay to return to work, school and other activities if you’re not able to take time off but always remember to practice good hygiene.

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