Most people will have had conjunctivitis sometime in life. It usually presents as a sticky, watery, or thick discharge around the eye, accompanied by itching and redness.
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Conjunctivitis is described as the inflammation of the thin tissue that covers the front of the eye and the back of the eyelids. This tissue is called ‘conjunctiva’ and it helps protect the eye and keep it moist. There are several types of conjunctivitis, but the most common cause is due to an infection or a virus.
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According to the latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) On vision, conjunctivitis is one of the main reasons people seek eye care services in all countries.
Conjunctivitis bacterial it is caused by the infection of certain bacteria in the eye. It is more rare than viral pictures and, like these, it can affect both eyes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The bacteria that most frequently cause bacterial conjunctivitis in America are the following:
– Staphylococcus aureus
– Haemophilus influenzae
– Streptococcus pneumoniae
– Moraxella catarrhalis
The symptoms They usually start in one of the eyes if the conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or bacteria and you may have other symptoms of infection, such as a sore throat and fever.
The most common signs are usually: redness in the whites of your eye, itching in your eye or around your eye, feeling like something is inside your eye, sticky, watery or thick discharge, crusty eyelids when you wake up in the morning , burning, stinging, or swelling in your eye and pain when you see bright light.
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The CDC also mentions that topical antibiotic therapy is indicated for bacterial conjunctivitis. For this reason, it would be essential to consult your condition with a health professional if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms.
Although it seems like a common and easy-to-treat condition, it is important to receive proper and timely treatment. The Spanish Society of Ophthalmology, mentions that bacterial conjunctivitis are extremely contagious, especially viral ones.
Viral particles are able to survive on dry surfaces, such as sheets, pillows, towels, bathroom utensils, etc., for weeks. The main routes of infection are direct contact with respiratory and ocular secretions, as well as hand contact. The infection can be sporadic or occur in epidemic outbreaks in workplaces, schools, sports centers, swimming pools, etc.
Regarding health care in ophthalmology, the WHO highlighted in its report that the aging of the population, changes in lifestyles and limited access to ophthalmic care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are some of the main factors driving the increase in the number of people with vision conditions, among which conjunctivitis is considered.
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“Eye conditions and visual impairment are widespread, and too often remain untreated.”says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “People in need of eye care must be able to receive quality interventions without experiencing financial hardship. Including eye care in national health plans and essential service packages is an important part of each country’s journey towards universal health coverage.” concluded.
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