A red eye should always be clarified by a doctor, because in addition to the many forms of conjunctivitis and other diseases can represent the causes of the symptoms.
How is the conjunctivitis diagnosed?
The doctor looks at the eye during his examination with a so-called slit lamp and can examine the different structures of the eye enlarged. To look at the inside of the eyelids, the doctor must fold the eyelid. Since the treatment of conjunctivitis often varies and depends on the cause, a swab of the conjunctiva may be necessary to determine the pathogen.
If the doctor suspects an allergy as the cause of conjunctivitis, various allergy tests are made to determine the trigger. For the adenovirus as a trigger of the dangerous Keratokonjuntivitis there is a quick test. This allows the doctor to diagnose and treat faster.
Treatment of conjunctivitis
A simple conjunctivitis usually heals without consequences. But sometimes drugs can speed healing.
- If bacteria are the cause, the doctor usually prescribes an eye ointment or eye drops containing an antibiotic.
- A special antibiotic helps against chlamydia. Equally special is the treatment of gonococci. These two forms of conjunctivitis should be inpatient, as therapy must be effective throughout the body.
- Viral conjunctivitis is usually more protracted, but usually heals without medication. In case of herpes viruses, however, the treatment should be medicated.
- In case of an allergy, the person affected should avoid contact with the trigger in the first place. If this is not possible, so-called antihistamines can slow down the allergic reaction.
- A dry eye as the cause of conjunctivitis can be treated with eye drops, which represent an artificial tear replacement.
- Some drops contain vasoconstricting agents and should not be used for too long. Too long a treatment can cause a vicious circle, because the narrow vessels can in turn trigger a dry eye and conjunctivitis. However, a short-term application is not a problem.
- Accompanying the drug therapy anti-inflammatory homeopathic remedies can be used. A sole treatment with homeopathy should not be done with conjunctivitis, however.
- For the treatment of conjunctivitis no home remedies should be used. Although, for example, chamomile can relieve inflammation, when flushing with camomile solutions, some germs are carried off or, in turn, irritation or allergies of the conjunctiva are triggered.
Every red eye should be presented to a doctor to rule out rare dangerous eye conditions and to achieve the best possible treatment of conjunctivitis.
Hygiene prevents infection
Particularly important is the special hygiene in affected families. In general, a highly contagious conjunctivitis is difficult to prevent the spread. Nevertheless, relatives should be careful not to use any towels or pillows used by the person concerned and to wash their hands thoroughly after contact.