While many different illnesses and infections might occur within your workplace, daily life, and even in your child’s school, you want to do your best to spot the signs of these as soon as possible, to put preventative measures in place or, if they are contracted, to minimise the symptoms and speed up the recovery process. Conjunctivitis is one such infection that can quickly spread, particularly when people are in close contact with one another, as well as to cause varying levels of discomfort for those who fall prey to it.
Eye Color and Condition
One of the initial symptoms of the start of conjunctivitis in adults and children will be a change to the usual color of the eyeball. While the whites of the eyes should normally be clean, and free of any debris, conjunctivitis can cause the coloration to change to a reddish-pink. In addition to this, there may be a build-up of discharge. While rheum is normal after having slept, this can easily be removed by washing your eyes. With conjunctivitis, this discharge will continue building up, and could even lead to the eye temporarily sticking shut after sleep if it has built up too much.
Itching and Burning
Another common symptom found in pink eye, as conjunctivitis is casually known, is an itching or burning sensation. It can be tempting to rub or scratch the area, particularly when it is present in children, however, this may only inflame the area that bit more. Dust, pollen, and other types of pollution in the air can also aggravate the eyes even further. While conjunctivitis can infect only one eye, by rubbing the eye you may be more likely to spread the infection to your other eye as well.
Preventing the Spread
There are a number of ways that you can help to limit the effects of a conjunctivitis outbreak. Primarily, informing your employer, or your child’s teacher, about any symptoms in your own home can raise awareness and help others to avoid catching it. Limiting the number of shared items can also go a long way. As an example, you may share a towel with family members for drying the face after a wash. When conjunctivitis is present, it is best to use separate towels, and store them so they are not touching each other, to avoid passing the infection around, or even re-infecting yourself. Disinfecting your hands, worktops, and even computer can help to reduce the bacteria on surfaces, while covering your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze can also help prevent the transmission of particles.
By engaging in good personal hygiene, and keeping your home and workplace clean as well, you can minimise the likelihood of an outbreak occurring. Educating yourself on the signs of conjunctivitis is a great way of spotting these issues when they first arise, allowing you to receive treatment sooner, which will both speed up the recovery process, limit the time in which you are contagious, and also reduce the level of symptoms throughout.