Red eyes are contagious
What is viral conjunctivitis?
Viral conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is a viral infection of the thin outermost layer of the eye, which protects the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids (the conjunctiva). This condition can affect people of all ages, but children are slightly more likely to develop it than adults.
The symptoms are:
- red, itchy or scratchy eyes,
- a runny nose and cough.
This condition is contagious, so it is important to take simple steps to avoid infecting other people, such as staying home and washing their hands regularly if they are sick. Viral conjunctivitis usually gets better after five to seven days without treatment.
Causes of Viral Conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis occurs when a virus causes swelling and reddening of the outermost layer of the eye (the conjunctiva). There are a variety of different viruses that can cause this disease. Some are very common and cause mild symptoms, such as cold and flu viruses.
Others, like the zoster virus (the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles), can cause more severe symptoms. Viral conjunctivitis, unlike allergic conjunctivitis, is often contagious and can be transmitted through drops that sneeze or cough into the air, or through close contact with a sick person.
Viral conjunctivitis can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be particularly susceptible to viral conjunctivitis.
What are the symptoms of viral conjunctivitis?
The typical symptoms of viral conjunctivitis are:
- red, watery, and itchy eyes
- photosensitive eyes
- cold-like symptoms
Sometimes only one eye is inflamed before symptoms appear in the other eye. In some people affected, the eyes are particularly sensitive to light. People with viral conjunctivitis often have cold or flu symptoms and may have a runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Eyesight is not impaired with viral conjunctivitis.
If you are unsure whether these symptoms apply to you, start a symptom analysis.
Investigation and diagnosis
Diagnosis is made based on the symptoms and the appearance of the eyes. It may be necessary to identify the specific virus that caused it. A sample of the discharge from the eye can be examined to identify the specific virus.
How is viral conjunctivitis treated?
Specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis is usually not required. The symptoms often go away within a few weeks. Some people use eye drops and put cool pouches on their eyes to relieve symptoms. If the infection is severe or the person has a weakened immune system, antiviral drugs may be needed.
What is the prognosis?
Viral conjunctivitis usually gets better in five to seven days, but it can last for two to four weeks. It usually gets better without specific treatment. People with weakened immune systems should see a doctor for diagnosis and advice on treating viral conjunctivitis.
How can you prevent viral conjunctivitis?
This disease is contagious, which is why it is important to take simple steps to avoid infecting other people, for example by helping you Person stays at home when sick and washes their hands regularly, so as not to spread the virus to other people.
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