Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they're more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.
Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction. It may affect one or both eyes.
Pink eye can be irritating, but it rarely affects your vision. Treatments can help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Because pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can help limit its spread.
CAUSES—Causes  of pink eye include:
·         Viruses
·         Bacteria
·         Allergies
·         A chemical splash in the eye
·         A foreign object in the eye
Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes. Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thicker, yellow-green discharge. Both types can be associated with colds or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat.
Both viral and bacterial types are very contagious. They are spread through direct or indirect contact with the eye secretions of someone who's infected.
Adults and children alike can develop both of these types of pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children than it is in adults.

Allergic conjunctivitis

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). This antibody triggers special cells called mast cells in the mucous lining of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances, including histamines. Your body's release of histamine can produce a number of allergy signs and symptoms, including red or pink eyes.
If you have allergic conjunctivitis, you may experience intense itching, tearing and inflammation of the eyes — as well as sneezing and watery nasal discharge.

Conjunctivitis resulting from irritation

Irritation from a chemical splash or a 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 a day or two.
Symptoms-- Pink eye may affect one or both eyes. Its signs and symptoms include:
·         Redness
·         Itchiness
·         A gritty feeling
·         A discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
·         Tearing

Risk factors -- our risk of having pink eye increases with:
·         Exposure to something for which you have an allergy (allergic conjunctivitis)
·         Exposure to someone infected with the viral or bacterial form of conjunctivitis
·         Use of contact lenses

 COMPLICATIONS-- In both children and adults, pink eye can cause inflammation in the cornea. This can affect vision. Prompt evaluation and treatment by your doctor can reduce the risk of complications.

Homoeopathic remedies are very effective for both treating and preventing conjunctivitis without any side effects. Some of the important remedies are given below--

BELLADONNA 30- Belladonna is prescribed for conjunctivitis  when the eyes are markedly swollen, red, dry and congested.There is photophobia may also occur.

EUPHRASIA OFFICINALIS 30-- Euphrasia is also an  excellent remedy for conjunctivitis and it is prescribed where redness and swelling of the eyes is accompanied with discharges. The discharges are acrid, watery and of irritating nature with intensely itchy eyes.There is watery discharge from eyes  but the discharge from the nose is bland. The eyes tend to water all the time , but becomes more in the evening. The patient feels slightly better in open air.There is frequent inclination to blink the eyes. A peculiar symptom seen in females is that there may be amenorrhoea with the eye symptoms.

PULSATILLA NIG. 30--- Pulsatilla is an excellent remedy for conjunctivitis with mucopurulent discharges.  It is specifically used when the eye discharge is thick and greenish color. Burning and itching in the eyes is also prominent. The eyelids seem agglutinated.  There is relief from any cold application or washing with cold water.The patient is usually thirstless. There is aggravation from heat or in summer.

ALLIUM CEPA 30-- Allium Cepa is best for allergic conjunctivitis  when the eye discharges are bland with marked sneezing and acrid nasal discharge and eyes suffused and watery. There is much burning and smarting lachrymation. Sensitive to light. Better in open air.

CALCAREA SUPLH 30- Calcarea Sulph is an excellent medicine   when the eye discharges are thick and yellow colored. The eyes are also inflamed with itching and burning.

BORAX 30--Borax is best  for conjunctivitis with agglutinated and sticky eyelids. It is used when the eyelids are loaded with dry exudation, causing the eyelids to stick together. Mainly the agglutination is marked in the morning time.

ARGENTUM NITRICUM 30-Argentum Nitricum is prescribed when copious mucopurulent eye discharges are present with sticky eyelids. The conjunctiva is markedly red and swollen.There is photophobia or aversion to light. The photophobia is more pronounced in a warm room. Splinter like pains may be felt in the eyes. Argentum nitricum patients have a peculiar craving for sweets. Flatulence in the stomach and abdomen often accompany the eye problems. There may be excessive belching.

APIS MELLIFICA 30-Apis mel is prescribed for conjunctivitis when severe burning and stinging is present in the eyes.There is lot of edema in and around the eyes. The patient is usually thirstless. All problems are worse  from heat in any form, whether in summer weather or going out in the sun.

RUTA GRAVEOLENS 30—Ruta graveolens is best for conjunctivitis when there is a sensation that there is a foreign body or some dust particles in the eye.There is constant irritation in the eyes and one feels that there is something that has got stuck in the eye. The eyes are red, hot and painful.
EXTERNAL APPLICATION—Instill 3 drops of Euphrasia eye lotion in to the eye 4 times daily

PREVENTION-- ractice good hygiene to control the spread of pink eye. For instance:
·         Don't touch your eyes with your hands.
·         Wash your hands often.
·         Use only clean towels and washcloths.
·         Don't share towels or washcloths.
·         Change your pillowcases often.
·         Avoid swimming in a swimming pool.
·         Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.
·         Don't share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.
·         Use any antibiotics for the complete period prescribed.
Pink eye symptoms may resolve in three to seven days. Children with viral conjunctivitis may be contagious for a week or more. Children may return to school when the redness and discharge in their eyes subsides.
If your child has bacterial conjunctivitis, keep him or her away from school until after treatment is started. Most schools and child care facilities require that your child wait at least 24 hours after starting treatment before returning to school or child care. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about when your child can return to school or child care.
Homoeopathic medicine—Homoeopathic  medicine Belladonna is effective for the prevention of conjunctivitis. Give Belladonna 30 two times daily for a week.

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