VIRAL CONJUNCTIVITIS IN KIDS
The conjunctiva is a loose tissue that is present over the eyeball. It has got two parts namely palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva. This layer also contains accessory lacrimal glands that secrete lubricants so as to keep our eye lubricated.
Any inflammation of this layer is called conjunctivitis. This inflammation can involve either palpebral or bulbar part or both. There are many aetiologies for this inflammation. Broadly they are classified as infectious and non-infectious.
Here we will focus on infectious aetiologies, specifically viral. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and lasts for about a week or two. All age groups are susceptible to this infection. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by many viruses most commonly being adenovirus which has many different strains. Others are herpes simplex, varicella-zoster, Picomavirus, molluscum contagiosum, human immunodeficiency virus.
Viral conjunctivitis usually presents with itchy eyes, redness, watering, discharge, light sensitivity, etc. The diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis is usually clinical. Investigations are not usually required for confirmation of diagnosis they are more epidemiological and research-oriented.
When in such a condition patient should not do any kind of self-medication and must consult a pediatric ophthalmologist for the same.
Treatment of viral conjunctivitis is usually supportive and focuses on the prevention of secondary bacterial infection. Also identification of any complications or sequelae of conjunctivitis is also important for which medical attention is must and should be acquired as early as possible.
Complications of viral conjunctivitis in kids are membranous conjunctivitis, keratitis, secondary bacterial infections, dry eyes, conjunctival scarring which are very much debilitating in the long run.
Preventing transmission to the other eye and family members is very important as this disease is highly contagious. Washing of hands thoroughly, avoid sharing towels and linens and cosmetics, discontinuation of contact lens, etc are the precautionary measures which must be taken care of, and taking medical advice timely is recommended.