Conjunctivitis in Men
The inner surface of the eyelids and the covering of the eyeballs have a thin layer of cells (membrane) called the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis happens when this conjunctiva becomes inflamed. Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pink eye, due to the inflammation, causes tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become more noticeable, which tends to give the eye a pink or a red look.
Types of conjunctivitis
There are three different types of conjunctivitis:
Irritant conjunctivitis: Irritant conjunctivitis happens due to the presence of an irritant; say an eyelash, or the chlorine in the swimming pool that may have gone into the eye making it go sore.
Allergic conjunctivitis: Allergic conjunctivitis happens due to an allergen like dust mites, pollen or animal fur coming into the contact of the conjunctiva, which triggers a reaction from the body’s immune system causing irritation and inflammation.
Infective conjunctivitis: Infective conjunctivitis is caused due to a bacteria or a virus. These viruses, along with making the eye go sore, also tends to make it watery, causing a thin coating to develop on the eyelashes.
Causes of Conjunctivitis
- The causes of Conjunctivitis include the following:
- Bacteria such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
- Irritants such as shampoos, smoke, dirt and swimming pool chlorine
- Allergies such as dust, pollen mites, mold spores, animal dander etc.
- Since men tend to do more of outdoor activities, they are the most affected when it comes conjunctivitis.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis are as follows:
- Redness of the inner eyelid or in the white of the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Burning eyes
- Blurred vision
- Increased amount of tears or watery eyes
- Thick yellow sticky discharge atop the eyelashes, especially after sleep
- Green or white discharges from the eye
- Increased sensitivity to light
Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis
To diagnose conjunctivitis, the doctor will usually examine the eyes and review your medical history. The doctor might also take a swab of the eye discharge and send it to a laboratory to determine the presence of conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is treated as follows:
Bacteria: Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotics, in the form of eye drops, ointments or medical pills. Eye drops or ointments need to be applied on the inside of the eyelid for three to four times a day,for five to seven days. Even pills need to be taken for a week or so. These antibiotics need to be taken only under prescription of a medical practitioner.
Viruses: Conjunctivitis caused by viruses can be treated with eye drops. This type of conjunctivitis must be allowed to run its course. Viral conjunctivitis can be very contagious and hence the patient must avoid contact with others and should wash his hands frequently.
Irritants: For conjunctivitis caused by an irritant, water can be splashed on the eyes for five minutes to wash away the substance. As soon as the eyes are washed, the soreness should start disappearing within four hours. If conjunctivitis is caused due acidic or alkaline substance such as bleach, you need to immediately rinse the eyes and call up a doctor.
Allergies: Conjunctivitis caused allergy will be treated once the allergen is removed.