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CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, DIAGNOSIS AND PREVENTION OF KERATOCONJUCTIVITIS

September 18 2021

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, DIAGNOSIS AND PREVENTION OF KERATOCONJUCTIVITIS

CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, DIAGNOSIS AND PREVENTION OF KERATOCONJUCTIVITIS

Keratoconjunctivitis is a condition in which the affected person experiences keratitis and conjunctivitis at the same time. Keratitis is the inflammatory condition, which directly affects the cornea of the eye; and conjunctivitis is the inflammatory condition affecting the conjunctiva (the thin membrane lying over the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid). 

Several causes are responsible for this condition, most of which are allergies and infections. It is a common condition that affects many people around the globe. The treatment for keratoconjunctivitis is usually conservative and also, depends on the cause which may be different in different people. 

Causes of keratoconjunctivitis

There are many infectious as well as non-infectious causes of keratoconjunctivitis, including allergens, viruses, parasites, bacteria, pollutants, genetics, autoimmune diseases, etc. 

Most of the keratoconjunctivitis cases occur due to allergens. When we talk about infections, viruses are the most commonly found agents among almost all age groups. Conjunctivitis caused due to bacterial infections is the most commonly found in children. 

Symptoms of keratoconjunctivitis

Symptoms of this condition usually range from mild to severe ones. They may vary depending on the agents that cause the condition to occur. Some of the symptoms that are commonly observed in keratoconjunctivitis are discharged, burning sensation, watering, stickiness, dry eye, minor blurred vision, watering, swollen eyelids, redness in the eye, the sensitivity of the light, itchiness, etc. 

Types of keratoconjunctivitis

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: it is also known as dry eye syndrome. Proper nourishment of the eyes requires the right mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus, all of which are responsible for the formation of tears. This may happen due to: an imbalance in this mixture, limited production of tears, and quick evaporation of the tears. 
  • Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis: this type of keratoconjunctivitis occurs due to the action of microbial agents, including staphylococcus, tuberculosis, and Chlamydia. The symptom which is mainly seen in all such cases is the formation of nodules where the cornea meets the white part of the eye. This condition can make you feel as if there is something in your eye. 
  • Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis: epidemic keratoconjunctivitis is an infection caused in the eye by human adenovirus and is also known as viral keratoconjunctivitis or adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis. This condition has a long incubation period and is highly communicable (contagious), spreads easily even when the people are in close quarters. This explains its large outbreaks that happen around the globe. No specific treatment of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis is known. The symptoms usually last a few weeks before they start clearing up, mostly targeting respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary tracts.
  • Vernal keratoconjunctivitis: this is a severe and chronic inflammatory condition caused by allergens. It may lead to giant papillae (small and round bumps underneath the eyelid) and tends to affect the upper eyelid the most. The cause of this type of keratoconjunctivitis is not known to date and may involve genetic and immune system disorders. 
  • Atopic keratoconjunctivitis: atopic keratoconjunctivitis is caused due to atopy, which is a genetic condition making it more likely for a person to get allergies. Men are at a higher risk of having this condition than women; affecting the lower eyelid more than the upper eyelid. The symptoms typically get worse in winters and may lead to serious conditions like ulceration, corneal vascularization (the growth of new blood vessels in the cornea), and keratoconus (thinning and bulging of the cornea). 
  • Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis: it is an infection that is caused due to the growth of herpes simplex virus (type-I). One may catch this infection by touching the eye after touching a cold sore near the mouth. 
  • Superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis: this is a chronic and recurring inflammatory condition of the eye. The cause of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis is not known to date, since it is a very rare condition. Women are at a higher risk for this condition, as compared to men. The symptoms gradually developed over 1 to 10 years before the condition starts to resolve. 
  • Allergic keratoconjunctivitis: this type of keratoconjunctivitis is caused by an allergic agent or an allergen. Allergies may come in certain seasons or may happen every year. Examples include vernal keratoconjunctivitis and atopic keratoconjunctivitis. 
  • Neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis: it is a rare, degenerative eye disorder that happens as a result of nerve damage. It may make the affected person lose the feeling of the cornea, which may cause little or no pain. It may also make the cornea more susceptible to certain injuries. Intervention or paying attention during the earlier stages is necessary since it develops and worsens over time. 
  • Diagnosis and prevention of keratoconjunctivitis

    It is advised to see a doctor when:

    • There is an injury in the eyes
    • You experience blurred vision 
    • There is no sign of improvement after a few days (6-7)
    • You suspect an eye infection.
    • You have splashed some harmful substance in the eye

    The diagnosis is based on your medical history, visual inspection of the eyes, and symptoms. An ophthalmologist, during the diagnosis, may also inspect the following: visual acuity, eye pressure, discharge, corneal sensation, and condition of the eyelids. 

    Now, regarding the prevention and treatment of keratoconjunctivitis, a few sets of rules must be followed:

    • Avoid contact with others: some of the types of keratoconjunctivitis are highly contagious or communicable, i.e., they can spread even through distant contact. To minimize its spread, one must wash his/ her hands regularly (more often) after touching the face, and, one mustn’t share eye drops, towels, makeup, or any other products that may infect other people.
    • Don’t rub your eyes: the urge to rub the eyes when you have keratoconjunctivitis, might be strong, but, it is highly advised to not do it. Rubbing or scratching your eyes usually makes the infections worse. 
    • Focus on underlying conditions: some viral infections like herpes require treatment with topical/ oral anti-viral medicines, so, it is important to treat any underlying auto-immune diseases if present.

    About alvizia’s joint complex

    Available in a pack of 90 soft gelatin capsules, Alvizia’s joint complex consists of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two components facilitate the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is also given to athletes who have had injuries. It is also used to treat dry eye syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis. Taking this supplement is associated with reduced joint damage, which happens as a result of aging. This supplement has been rigorously tested before manufacturing with assured quality for usage. Also, it meets all the FSSAI guidelines with quality ingredients. This supplement should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from moisture and light.


    This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

    Tagged: Capsules, Glucosamine-Complex, Joint-Support, Softgels

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