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Conjunctivitis symptoms: COVID-19 or another viral or bacterial infection

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Although eye problems are generally not a sign of COVID-19, pink eye, conjunctivitis, could be, according to experts.

During the pandemic, the question of how to get medical attention could be a little confusing. Most healthcare clinics are still closed, many doctors are working from home, and we’re encouraged to stay home if you think you have symptoms of COVID before coming in for a test.

Sometimes, there are many situations—could be related to covid or not—in which getting help from a health expert is absolutely necessary.

Covid 19 and Pink eye or Conjunctivitis

Pink eye or Conjunctivitis is one of the eye infections that most of us experience at some point in life. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that the condition could be related to COVID as well.

“Several reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can cause a mild follicular conjunctivitis otherwise indistinguishable from other viral causes, and possibly be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva,” they explained in a statement.

Dr. Sharon Chekijian from Yale Medicine explained:

Visual problems require immediate medical attention as they can be a sign of serious illness. Pink eye (conjunctivitis), on the other hand, is an infection and inflammation of the membrane in the eye (the conjunctiva) that may be a symptom of COVID-19 or another viral or bacterial infection

That’s the main reason some experts recommend to wear lasses during the pandemic instead of contact lens.

But, this is not just the case. Dirty hands are the enemy not only for the tummies but also for the eyes. If you rub your eyes with unwashed hands, you can get conjunctivitis. Knowing the main symptoms of conjunctivitis can help you to diagnose it timely.

The main symptoms of Pink Eye or conjunctivitis:

  • increased eye discomfort in bright light
  • tired eyes
  • sticking of the eyelids (“sour eyes”), especially after sleep
  • lacrimation
  • swelling of the eyelids
  • the mucous membrane of the eye is bright red, swollen
  • mucus and pus are secreted from the palpebral fissure and accumulate in the eye itself
  • subjectively unpleasant sensations in the eye area – pain, itching, burning, feeling that something has got into the eye

According to experts, the listed symptoms can occur with any conjunctivitis – viral, bacterial, or allergic, but there are certain patterns. 

For example, pain is more pronounced in bacterial conjunctivitis, and itching in allergic conjunctivitis.

Distinguishing one type of conjunctivitis from another is not always easy, but without an answer to this question, it is impossible to prescribe adequate treatment. This task is quite solvable, but solvable by a doctor.

  • Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use a clean towel and washcloth daily.
  • Don’t share towels or washcloths.
  • Change your pillowcases often.
  • Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.
  • Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.

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