Signs of Conjunctivitis
When an eye looks pink or red, this might be conjunctivitis. The eye feels itchy, uncomfortable and sticky.
The eyelids may be stuck together after sleeping. Get help after a few days if it’s not better.
Stop Eye Infections Spreading
Conjunctivitis spreads easily to other people so a child with it must not touch others without washing their hands properly.
Do not share cloths used to clean infected eyes or share towels or bedding until the eyes are better.
Take care with ointments
If the eye has white or yellow sticky discharge, the germs might be bacteria.
Antibiotic ointment is needed and MUST be used as instructed by a health worker.
Often called “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, especially in children. It can affect one or both eyes. The conjunctiva is a transparent layer that lines the inner eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.
Some forms of conjunctivitis can easily spread from person-to-person. Usually it’s not too serious, but it can become a more serious problem.
Viruses, allergies or bacteria can cause conjunctivitis. Plus, it can develop due to pollen and smoke or other things that contact and irritate the eyes.
Pink eye feels itchy or hot and uncomfortable. Tears can form and the eyelids can become thicker (swollen). There can be a yellow and sticky discharge and the eyelids can stick together after sleeping. People with conjunctivitis avoid bright light.
To prevent it spreading, a child with an itchy, pink eye should:
- not touch their eyes with their hands.
- wash their hands properly.
- not share cloths with others.
- not wear eye make-up.
- follow their eye doctor’s instructions.
If the conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria, ointments or drops can help. If it’s a virus then drops and ointments will not help. Infections caused by a virus can take 2-3 weeks to clear up.
You can make the itchy eye feel better by using a compress. To make a compress, soak a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze it out before putting it on your closed eyelids. Hold it there gently for a few minutes. Don’t rub the eye, even with the compress. Change the compress often.
Injuries to the eye can happen far away from a health centre where you can get help. It helps to cover the eye for the journey there.