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Health & Fit Viral vs. Bacterial Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): What's the Difference?

14:45  22 january  2020
14:45  22 january  2020 Source:   usnews.com

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What are the differences between viral and bacterial conjunctivitis , also known as pink eye ? Read about symptoms and treatment options at U.S Whatever the cause may be, pinkeye – or what ’ s referred to medically as conjunctivitis – is uncomfortable. And the hallmark pink or red appearance

Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye Both viruses and bacteria can cause pink eye . Conjunctivitis , uveitis, irits, elevated pressure in the eye , as well as sinusi. Viral Pink Eye . Viral conjunctivitis is caused by viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections. Therefore, it accompanies common cold

Whatever the cause may be, pinkeye – or what’s referred to medically as conjunctivitis – is uncomfortable. And the hallmark pink or red appearance of the “white” of the eye caused by irritation can make any sufferer self-conscious as well.

a close up of a mans face with an open mouth: Closeup irritated infected red bloodshot eyes, conjunctivitis © (Getty Images) Closeup irritated infected red bloodshot eyes, conjunctivitis

“Conjunctivitis basically means inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the clear part that covers the white part of the eyes,” says Dr. Sumitra Khandelwal, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Cullen Eye Institute within the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and medical director for the Lions Eye Bank of Texas. “When you’re looking at somebody, the white part of the eye actually has a clear covering to it, and that can get inflamed.”

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Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common type of pink eye , caused by bacteria that infect the eye through various sources of contamination. The bacteria can be spread through contact with an infected individual, exposure to contaminated surfaces or through other means such as sinus or ear infections.

Viral pink eye vs . bacterial pink eye . A virus that causes viral pink eye can spread from your nose to your eyes , or you can catch it when someone sneezes or coughs and the droplets Bacteria cause bacterial pink eye . Usually the bacteria spreads to your eyes from your respiratory system or skin.

In some cases, pinkeye may result from an allergic reaction. Things like mold and pollen may trigger it in seasonal allergy sufferers, for example. In other cases, chemicals in the environment – outside or in the home, from air pollution to eye makeup – may be to blame.

But the majority of the estimated 3 million to 6 million case of conjunctivitis that occur annually in the U.S. are infectious. They result from a virus or bacterial infection. And viral pinkeye is the most common type of conjunctivitis of all, accounting for the lion’s share of conjunctivitis cases in adults.

The distinctions aren’t merely a way to categorize the infection either. Instead, experts note, it’s important to know what causes pinkeye to determine how to treat it – or if it needs to be treated at all.

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Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye Our eyes are said to be the windows to our soul. Viral conjunctivitis usually begins with one eye and then spreads to the other eye . Viral conjunctivitis is the one being labeled as pink eye for it is the conjunctiva that becomes reddish or pinkish due to the inflammation of

Bacterial Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye Our eyes are said to be the windows to our soul. They pave the way to seeing the beautiful world that God made.The main difference the patient needs to understand with viral conjunctivitis is that there will Differences in symptoms between viral and

Viral or Bacterial?

In many ways, the symptoms of pinkeye are similar irrespective of the cause. However, experts say, that there are some signs that may point to viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. Those include:

  • Cold or upper respiratory symptoms often accompany viral conjunctivitis.
  • Copious discharge from the eye, which could indicate it’s bacterial.
  • Age. The vast majority of pinkeye cases involving adults are viral in nature. (Kids get a more evenly mixed distribution of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis.)
  • Coloration of the white of the eye. Lighter – like salmon color – may be viral; a darker, reddish color may be bacterial.

Perhaps the most obvious sign for viral pinkeye is if it’s accompanied by a cold or upper respiratory infection, experts say. If you have those symptoms – which could range from cough to sore throat – as well as classic pinkeye symptoms, you likely have the viral version of pinkeye. In contrast, bacterial pinkeye tends to be associated with more discharge that’s thick, often a yellow or green color, with pus, which can cause the eye to crust over.

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Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery discharge. What are your recommendations for management of viral conjunctivitis in Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are First, bacterial conjunctivitis can be cured with antibiotics, while the viral form cannot. Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye

If you have viral pinkeye, there’s a good chance you’ll have it in both eyes. “Viral (conjunctivitis) tends to be more commonly bilateral, though it can be in one eye,” says Dr. Kamran Riaz, an ophthalmologist and clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at the Dean McGee Eye Institute at the University of Oklahoma. “Whereas bacterial tends to be usually just one eye, though it can be in both eyes.”

Comfort Care for Viral Pinkeye

As with the common cold, there’s no proven cure for viral conjunctivitis. In fact, the adenovirus that causes cold symptoms is frequently to blame for viral pinkeye.

“Viral conjunctivitis will be treated with what we would call comfort care,” says Dr. Jeff Pettey, an ophthalmologist and associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Utah. “You can do something like a cool compress – a washcloth in cold water – just for comfort. You can use artificial tears for comfort as well.” Artificial tears lubricate the eye, which can dry with pinkeye.

Viral pinkeye tends to go away on its own. It usually clears up within a matter of days to two weeks. In some instances, however, symptoms can persist for longer. Or a person may really want to do more in an attempt to get relief from symptoms like inflammation. For these reasons, sometimes topical steroids may be used.

How to tell if you have pink eye and what to do

  How to tell if you have pink eye and what to do True conjunctivitis can be either viral or bacterial, but inflamed eyes can also mean something else.The first thing is to look at any other symptoms, especially pain and vision problems, to figure out whether it’s time to visit a doctor right away.

Viral Vs . Bacterial Conjunctivitis . Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the most common eye disorder. In this article, you will read the viral Vs . bacterial conjunctivitis comparison to know the difference between the Viral . Bacterial . Symptoms initially show up in one eye , and then appear in other eye

Often called " pink eye ," conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, especially in children. A viral or bacterial infection can cause conjunctivitis . It can also develop due to an allergic reaction to air irritants Increased sensitivity to light. What causes conjunctivitis ? There are three main types of

Steroids, however, don’t shorten the course of the disease and could actually prolong it. “Patients may still have the virus in the eye for a longer period of time,” Riaz says. He explains that’s because the steroid kind of blunts the immune system response to the eye infection. “So the steroids can kind of help you feel a little bit better.” But he and other experts note, they can also keep you infectious for longer.

Betadine – an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and viruses and is used during eye procedures like cataract surgery – is also sometimes given as an eye wash to treat severe viral pinkeye. Betadine may be used, for example, when pseudomembranes, or false membranes, form over the white of the eye, causing significant pain.

“That’s been used with increasing frequency and success,” Riaz says. But it’s administered in the doctor’s office – it's not the same thing as buying betadine at your local pharmacy and applying to your eye yourself. “There isn’t anything commercially available, so it really has to be compounded or formulated by an eye care provider, and not everybody knows how to do that.”

The eye wash is also uncomfortable: “Sometimes the treatment is a little bit worse than the actual pinkeye because betadine burns,” Khandelwal says.

Clinicians emphasize that for the vast majority of people who have viral pinkeye, basic comfort care is the best course.

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Conjunctivitis : No, viral conjunctivitis is more contagious than bacterial conjunctivitis . Bacterial conjunctivitis tends not to be contagious unless the surface of the eye Some differences : Generally viral pink eye typically produces redness, watery eyes and doesn't need treatment except for herpes.

Treatment for Viral Conjunctivitis : Unlike bacterial conjunctivitis , treatment for viral conjunctivitis is fairly basic and no amount of anti-bodies will Treatment for Bacterial Conjunctivitis : The mainstay of treatment in case of bacterial infection is topical antibiotics which are administered through eye drops

There’s no current treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment – eye drop or otherwise – for viral conjunctivitis. “There could be treatment in the future for (viral) pinkeye,” Khandelwal says. “But much like the common cold, there’s just so much that goes into it as far as different strains and how viruses change every year that it would take a lot of work to get there – to have a drop that would fix pinkeye.”

Treating Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Unlike with viral pinkeye, experts recommend treating bacterial conjunctivitis.

Antibiotics, delivered in eye drop or ointment form, are a common course of treatment. However, experts caution that while primary care providers may be equipped to treat pinkeye, it’s important to ensure the cause of conjunctivitis has been properly determined first. And eye doctors are best equipped to make that determination.

That’s important to note, experts say, because research indicates that often antibiotics are prescribed to treat pinkeye when that isn’t the right approach – like when the conjunctivitis is, in fact, viral. Patients who saw primary care providers for conjunctivitis were more likely to fill a prescription for antibiotics than those who saw an ophthalmologists, according to the 2017 study published in the journal Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Researchers concluded this may promote antibiotic resistance, making bacterial strains hard to treat in the future – not to mention exposing those with viral conjunctivitis to unnecessary drug side effects.

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What ' s the difference between viral conjunctivitis and pink eye ? Usually the same: Most " pink eye " is caused by viral conjunctivitis , in which case they're the same. However, a bacterial conjunctivitis , though less common, could cause the same symptoms and be referred to as pink eye

Viral conjunctivitis , although usually benign and self-limited, tends to follow a longer course than acute bacterial conjunctivitis , lasting for approximately 2-4 weeks. Corneal superinfection in acute viral conjunctivitis in young children. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus.

For those who do have bacterial pinkeye, treating it is important to prevent possible complications. Mostly commonly, bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus and Haemophilus. “Those are actually natural occurring bacteria that we all have on our hands and our eyelashes, and so sometimes you’ll get an overgrowth and you’ll develop conjunctivitis from that,” Khandelwal explains.

There’s special concern around bacterial pinkeye that’s caused by sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can threaten vision. A person may develop pinkeye when genital fluids like semen come in direct contact with the eye or through indirect contact, like touching the eye after sex. In cases where pinkeye is caused by an STD, it’s especially important to treat it early and aggressively. Oral antibiotics may be used.

In addition to STDs being spread through sexual contact and ultimately leading to conjunctivitis, newborns may also get these type of pinkeye infections during delivery.

When to Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Prophylactic treatment of conjunctivitis is standard for babies born in hospitals in the U.S. And parents should take infants who develop pinkeye to the doctor for prompt evaluation and treatment. That's because if it's not treated it can cause serious complications, such as vision loss, particularly if due to gonorrhea or chlamydia.

In general, if you or your child have any of the following symptoms associated with pinkeye, make sure to seek medical attention right away:

  • Decreased or blurred vision.
  • Eye pain.
  • Light sensitivity, especially if it’s more severe.
  • Copious discharge from the eyes.
  • Worsening symptoms.

In some cases, discharge may make it difficult to open the affected eye or eyes. When light sensitivity is severe – you’re drawing the shades and trying to keep it dark – that could be a sign of a more serious problem. The infection may have spread in the eye beyond the conjunctiva or you may be experiencing another health issue that could threaten sight. For example, increasing pain and light sensitivity could point to an ulcer, or open sore, in the eye. “The consequences of an ulcer that is untreated can be permanent scarring and vision loss,” Pettey says.

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What ’ s the difference between an HSA and FSA? Bacterial conjunctivitis symptoms include a sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye . Conjunctivitis — also known as " pink eye ," is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside

So while most pinkeye cases don’t have long-term consequences, experts emphasize that you should take warning signs seriously. Whether they indicate you have conjunctivitis or something else entirely, clinicians stress that worries about vision or other eye symptoms shouldn’t be overlooked. Instead, see an eye doctor if you have worsening symptoms or other concerns.

Related video: 7 Ways to Get Rid of Pink Eye (Provided by Health.com)


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