Conjunctivitis is perhaps one of the most common pathologies that bring patients to the ophthalmologist. It can be bacterial, viral, or it can be caused by fungi and it can also be caused by very dangerous pathogens.
It is a huge pathology, which includes symptoms of many types. The actual conjunctivitis is distinguished, in which there is an etiological agent, that is, a bacterium or a virus that caused it and this must be diagnosed by the ophthalmologist and must be treated in the most appropriate way, therefore with antibiotics, antivirals or antifungals, in the case of a fungal infection.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, that is, of the lining that wraps the eye and the eyelid and serves as a shock absorber. However, it can propagate to the cornea, which is a transparent dioptric medium. It is the most important lens of the eye and if the infection spreads to the cornea, then the patient’s visual capacity can be reduced and therefore there may also be permanent corneal damage. These permanent damages can be in the form of scars, infections and ulcers, therefore conjunctivitis should never be underestimated and should always be brought to the specialist.
Conjunctivitis is to be distinguished from conjunctivopathies, i.e. red eyes that are due to simple allergies, seasonal red eyes or red eyes due to a dry eye (which is perhaps the most common cause of red eye, as the patient in front of the computer and who lives in a dry environment, has a whole host of risk factors for developing dry eye).
The symptom that the patient has is the feeling of having little sand inside the eye and red eye. He, therefore, thinks he probably has conjunctivitis, goes to the pharmacy and buys an eye drop. Usually, he is given an antibiotic eye drop which actually doesn’t make any sense because there is no bacterial infection and therefore, is needless.
This increases the risk of antibiotic tolerance and the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is to say that the diagnosis must always be done by the ophthalmologist and it is very important to understand if it is a dry eye and therefore, an irritative conjunctivitis.
It is red eye because the eye itself is dry, irritated and teary. If it is allergic or seasonal conjunctivopathy, the allergic inflammatory reaction must be treated with antihistamine and / or cortisone eye drops. If it is viral or fungal conjunctivitis, then it is very very different. The symptom is always red eye, it is always the sense of having something inside.
Of course, these pathologies can overlap and one can lead to the other, so a patient can have a basic dry eye, then afterwards he may have seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. He can develop bacterial conjunctivitis when the immune defenses are weak.
The patient wakes up with the eye stuck, he cannot open it and there is a whole secretion at the base of the eyelashes that glues the eyelids. This is a real bacterial conjunctivitis. The patient goes to the ophthalmologist and he treats him for the symptoms. If one does not cure the allergic conjunctivitis or dry eye, then this may lead to further weakening the immune system and lead to the development of bacterial conjunctivitis.