September 18 2021
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
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.
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