Conjunctivitis, often referred to as “pink eye,” refers to the irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva, a delicate and transparent layer that coats the outer part of the eye and encloses the inner area of the eyelids. It can lead to redness, itching, irritation, or discharge in one or both eyes. While conjunctivitis is usually considered a minor eye condition, its presence during pregnancy gives rise to specific concerns and considerations.
Pregnancy is a time of unique experiences for both the mother and the developing baby, demanding increased attention to health as the mother strives to ensure her well-being and the health of her unborn child. Therefore, gaining a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of conjunctivitis in pregnancy becomes exceptionally important.
Conjunctivitis, also referred to as “pink eye”, is an eye condition caused by infections or allergies. It tends to get away on its own over a span of a few days or weeks, often without requiring medical treatment.
Conjunctivitis can caused by different viruses, leading to a type of conjunctivitis known as Viral conjunctivitis. This form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious and is triggered by viruses like adenoviruses.
Bacterial conjunctivitis arises when specific bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and occasionally Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, infect the eye. This type of conjunctivitis is characterized by its ease of transmission and is more frequently observed in children compared to adults.
Allergic conjunctivitis emerges when irritants like pollen from trees, plants, grasses, and weeds, as well as dust mites, mold, pet dander, medications, or cosmetics, trigger a reaction. This type of conjunctivitis is typically non-contagious and tends to affect individuals with existing allergies such as hay fever, asthma, or eczema more frequently.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis include:
-Pink or red eye
-Swelling of the eyelid or internal part of the eyelid.
-Feeling the urge to rub the eyes
-An itching, irritation, or burning feeling
-Pus or mucus discharge
-Feeling uncomfortable with the contact lenses
How can conjunctivitis spread?
Conjunctivitis may arise from different strains of bacteria and viruses, a few of which have a significant capacity for spreading. Typically, these pathogens spread from an individual with an infection to others through several means, including:
-Direct close contact, such as handshakes or physical touch.
-Airborne transmission through coughing or sneezing.
-The act of touching your eyes after coming into contact with a surface or object contaminated by germs, without washing your hands.
You can prevent yourself and help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis by taking the following measures:
-Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
-Cleanse your hands before and after touching your eyes.
-Use different eye products for your affected and unaffected eye.
-Stop wearing contact lenses until they stop creating discomfort or any problem.
-Do not share your items such as towels, eye drops, eye makeup, contact lenses, or eyeglasses, etc with anyone.
-Avoid doing swimming
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy for conjunctivitis, it often resolves itself over several days or weeks. During this time, you can help alleviate inflammation and dryness by applying cold compresses or using artificial tears. These measures can provide relief as your body naturally combats the condition.
It’s important to seek medical help if you experience conjunctivitis alongside any of the subsequent symptoms:
-Intense red eye or eyes
-A week immune system due to HIV infection, cancer treatment, or other medical conditions.
In case you get in contact with conjunctivitis during your pregnancy, it is crucial to reach out to your healthcare professional. They can accurately identify the type of conjunctivitis and provide suitable guidance on preventive steps and treatment choices for your situation.
If the conjunctivitis is due to allergies, viruses, or bacteria, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription antibiotic eye drops that are safe for use during pregnancy. Always inform your healthcare provider that you are pregnant before using any medication, including eye drops. They will be able to guide you on the safety of the medication during pregnancy.
To know more you can always reach out to Dr Shweta wazir at : 8448128007 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Shweta Wazir is the best obstetrician in gurgaon who can take care of all your pregnancy needs and wishes. She is a qualified and certified doctor who follows the latest guidelines and protocols for antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care. She is also adept at managing high-risk pregnancies, such as those with gestational diabetes, hypertension, preterm labor, multiple pregnancies, etc.