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General Conjunctivitis / Pinkeye Information
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) which lines the eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes. Conjunctivitis is common, especially in children. Conjunctivitis is very contagious and often spreads through schools and daycare centers, but the disease is not serious and does not damage vision if treated promptly.

There are five different types of conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis, also called pinkeye, usually affects both eyes and produces a large amount of mucus.
  • Viral conjunctivitis usually affects only one eye and causes tearing and a small amount of mucus.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is associated with itchy, red eyes; tearing and, in some cases, a runny nose.
  • Giant papillary conjunctivitis is associated with contact lens use.
  • Opthalmia neonatorum is acute conjunctivitis in newborns, which must be treated immediately to avoid serious eye damage.
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    Possible Causes of Conjunctivitis / Pinkeye
    Conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, chemical exposure or allergic reaction to dust, pollen or other materials. Conjunctivitis often occurs following a cold or cold sore. People can become infected when their hands become contaminated and they rub their eyes. Eyes can also become infected when a person uses contaminated towels or eye makeup. Gonorrhea can also cause conjunctivitis. Giant papillary conjunctivitis is caused by an allergic reaction to contact lens solution. Opthalmia neonatorum occurs when a babyís tear ducts are not completely open or if the infantís eyes encounter bacteria in the birth canal when the mother suffers from gonorrhea or chlamydia.

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    Possible Symptoms of Conjunctivitis / Pinkeye
    Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis usually produce white or yellowish pus that may cause the eyelids to stick shut in the morning. The discharge in allergic conjunctivitis is often clear and watery. All types of conjunctivitis involve itching, redness, photophobia (sensitivity to light), swelling of the eyelids and/or discharge from the eyes. Red, sore eyes may be part of viral respiratory infections, including measles. The germs that cause conjunctivitis may be present in nasal secretions, as well as in the discharge from the eyes.

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    Possible Lifestyle Changes for Conjunctivitis / Pinkeye
    Wash hands with soap and water often. A person with conjunctivitis should refrain from rubbing his eyes to avoid spreading infection to the unaffected eye. Do not share towels, wash cloths or pillowcases with others. Do not share cosmetics with others. Children with pinkeye should remain home from school for a few days to avoid spreading the infection to classmates. Some cases of bacterial conjunctivitis can be avoided by vaccinating infants against Homophilius B. Allergic conjunctivitis can be avoided by staying away from allergic triggers. Proper care of contact lenses can prevent giant papillary conjunctivitis.

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    In accordance with FDA regulation, we do not make any therapeutic claims for any Dietary Supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

    Beneficial Dietary Supplements
    Vitamin A promote immunity, which is important to preventing viral conjunctivitis.

    Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids protects the eye from further inflammation.

    Zinc enhances immune response.

    Calendula, Chamomile, Fennel and Eyebright Herbal Teas can be used to make soothing hot compresses for the eyes.

    Goldenseal is effective in treating conjunctivitis.

    REFERENCES: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition, Phyllis Balch, CNC; James F. Balch, M.D.




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