Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Red is HOT, but red eyes is NOT
It started about 2 weeks ago. There was a lot of discharge (tahi mata!) coming out from my right eye every half an hour and was downright annoying. I didn’t give it much thought and dismissed it as a sign of fatigue and resolved it by applying normal eye drops. Everyday when I wake up, I couldn’t even open my eye as the discharge had dried up and practically ‘glued’ my eyes together. Still, I ignored it and applied more eye drops…until yesterday.
I woke up with a very red right eye (plus more discharge!), but it didn’t feel itchy. I was like, ‘ok red eye in the morning is normal, it’ll go away soon’. But it didn’t. Several hours later, I was in my office still with a very red eye. Of course, my colleagues told me to do a check-up (and quick!). I know they don’t want to get infected hehe. So, after lunch I went to an optical shop to get a check-up. Apparently, I had an eye infection called Conjunctivitis. The cause could be a lot of reasons, but most probably I got it from another person who has the eye infection, or else I didn’t wash my hands properly while cleaning my contact lenses. I was given antibiotic eye drops and was told to do a check-up after a week. And no wearing contact lenses for a week! Phew…luckily I don’t have any dance performances this week. I will look really weird dancing with my glasses. They will call me ‘The Geeky Dancer’!
Anyway, I did some searching and found some info on conjunctivitis from wikipedia:
Conjunctivitis , commonly called "Pink Eye" and "Red Eye" in the UK, and "Madras Eye" in India is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids), most commonly due to an allergic reaction or an infection (usually bacterial, or viral).
Bacterial conjunctivitis ( in my case!) due to the common pyogenic (pus-producing) bacteria causes marked grittiness/irritation and a stringy, opaque, grey or yellowish mucopurulent discharge (gowl, goop, "gunk", "eye crust", sleep, or other regional names) that may cause the lids to stick together (matting), especially after sleeping. Another symptom that could be caused by Bacterial Conjunctivitis is severe crusting of the infected eye and the surrounding skin. Like viral conjunctivitis, it usually affects only one eye but may spread easily to the other eye.
Many people who have conjunctivitis have trouble opening their eyes in the morning because of the dried mucus on their eyelids. There is often excess mucus over the eye after sleeping for a long period of time. (which is sooo true!)
Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments that cover a broad range of bacteria (chloramphenicol or fusidic acid used in UK). However evidence suggests that this does not affect symptom severity and gains only modest reduction in duration from an average of 4.8 days (untreated controls) to 3.3 days for those given immediate antibiotics. Deferring antibiotics yields almost the same duration as those immediately starting treatment with 3.9 days duration, but with half the two-week clinic reattendance rate.
To guys and gals out there, if yr eyes are your most prominent asset, you should take good care of your peepers. Avoid rubbing them frequently, don’t wear contact lens unless you really have to, and for the gals, it’s wise to good quality cosmetic products as cheap ones can affect your eyes in a negative way ‘cos it may contain chemical properties which can irritate your eyes.
Just remember…red may be hot, but red eyes is definitely not!