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Today in Health & Wellness

Sore Eyes

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common name: Conjunctivitis, pink eye (Eng.)

Sore eyes or conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eyes (conjunctiva). Conjunctivitis can either be due viral, bacterial or allergic. It is one of the most common eye condition in children and adults.

  • Redness in the sclera of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased watering of eyes
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep (in conjunctivitis caused by bacteria)
  • Itchy eyes (especially in conjunctivitis caused by allergies)
  • Burning eyes (especially in conjunctivitis caused by chemicals and irritants)
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
Risk Factors
  • Bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus infection
  • Viral e.g., Adenovirus infection
  • Allergies (pollen, cosmetics, and contact lens cleaning solution)
  • Air pollution or chemical irritants
  • Cervical infections (chlamydia, genital herpes or gonorrhea) in a pregnant woman may result in potentially blinding conjunctivitis in her baby.
  • A partially blocked tear duct is a possible cause.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Antibiotics for the eye have the same mechanisms of action, coverage, and potential for adverse reactions as their systemic counterparts. They are prescribed for conjunctivitis caused by bacteria. Drugscetrimide, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, tobramycin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, gatifloxacin, gentamicin, gramidicin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, neomycin, ofloxacin, oxytetracycline, polymixin B sulfate, tobramycin 
  • Corticosteroids are indicated in allergic conjunctivitis. Since it can promote the growth of viruses and bacteria, it is contraindicated for infectious conjunctivitis. Prolonged use of corticosteroids may result in glaucoma, defects in visual acuity and fields of vision. Drugsbetamethasone, dexamethasone, fluorometholone, prednisolone 
  • Decongestants constrict blood vessels and help reduce eye redness. Overuse of topical decongestants can lead to increased swelling and redness ("rebound effect"). Drugsantazoline, ketorolac, ketotifen, naphazoline, olopatadine, pheniramine, tetrahydrozoline, zinc sulfate
Treatment and Management
  • Frequently wash hands using antiseptic soap when infected to prevent spreading of the disease.
  • Avoid chemical irritants and known allergens.
  • Use a clean tissue to remove discharge from eyes, and wash hands to prevent the spread of infection. If medication is prescribed, finish the course of antibiotics, as directed, to make sure that the infection is cleared up and does not recur.
Home Remedies
  • Apply warm compresses to blocked tear ducts.
  • Clean the eyelids by using a cotton-tipped applicator moistened with water.
  • Do not cover the infected eye with an eye patch. This may encourage further infection.
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