Nurse Advice from IDEA ELC – Conjunctivitis

Focus on Nurse Nima: Advice on dealing with Conjunctivitis

At IDEA ELC we have a very experienced and highly qualified Nurse called Nima. Nima often sends advice to our parents on the common illnesses that children encounter when they start at school or nursery. We’re passionate about sharing our best practice and this blog will be the first of a series that shares the advice she sends to our registered parents.

Conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.

Most children will suffer from conjunctivitis at least once while they are growing up. It isn’t usually serious – in most cases, it clears up quickly with the help of eye drops prescribed by the doctor. It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can easily spread.

Causes:
• Viruses (very contagious)
• Bacteria (very contagious)
• Allergens, like pollen (not contagious)
• Irritants, like smoke or dust (not contagious)

Symptoms:
• Redness or swelling
• Watery eyes
• A gritty feel
• Itchiness, irritation, or burning
• Discharge
• Crusting of the eyelids or lashes

A doctor can usually diagnose the cause based on symptoms and patient history. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. In the majority of viral cases, there is no specific treatment. Most cases due to a bacterial infection will resolve with antibiotic drops or ointment. Conjunctivitis usually resolves within 2-5 days.

Protect yourself and others from infection:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, and help young children do the same.
• Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. This can worsen the condition or spread it to your other eye.
• Use a clean towel and washcloth daily.
• Avoid sharing personal items, such as makeup, towels, contact lenses and eyeglasses.
• Stop wearing contact lenses until your eye doctor says it’s okay.
• Clean, store, and replace your contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor.

If you have any concerns about your child or you would like some advice from a friendly face and listening ear, please contact Nima using nima@ideaelc.ae.