Conjunctivitis in a nutshell
Our eyes are sensitive to external aggressions. The conjunctiva, a transparent membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and the white of the eye (sclera), is easily affected by an external element: smoke, dust, microbes, pollens, animal hair … And presto, it ‘s is the inflammation, which can be of allergic origin (both eyes affected, itching and clear secretions), bacterial (swollen eyelids, red eyes, purulent secretions) or viral (watery eye, moderate redness, clear secretions), associated nasopharyngitis, for example. Finally, there are mechanical conjunctivitis resulting from the presence of a foreign body in the eye (splinter, grain of sand, etc.).
The first-line chamomile bath
What’s this ? A “house” eye drops made from an infusion of Roman chamomile, thanks to which you will be able to wash your eyes.
Why does it work? This calming and anti-inflammatory plant has proven its effectiveness in relieving nascent or allergic conjunctivitis (especially during the pollen season). While it has a strong odor, it is in fact remarkably well tolerated, whether it is to clean the inside of the irritated eye or to reduce the swelling of the eyelid.
How’s it going ? Pour 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile in 150 ml of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Filter. Let cool. Using a clean syringe, draw out some water from the preparation and instill it in your eyes. Use the rest on sterile compresses to be applied to the eyelid for 15 minutes. Repeat this three to six times a day. If there is no improvement after 24 hours, you should consult.
Antiallergic or antibiotic eye drops if it is more serious
What’s this ? The first treats allergic conjunctivitis, in addition to oral antihistamine therapy. It limits the urge to scratch, tearing, clear secretions. The second treats bacterial conjunctivitis, when a microbe has caused the irritation.
Why does it work? The antihistamine and eye drops made from cetirizine (an antiallergic drug) work synergistically to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of allergy, including eye irritation. As for the antibiotic, it is the only way to “kill” the bacteria responsible for the infection, which can cause severe inflammation of the cornea and impair vision.
How’s it going ? The antiallergic eye drops are often used in the long term, two to four times a day, the time of the allergy. Antibiotic eye drops are usually applied morning and evening for three days. Both are prescribed.
Thanks to Jean-Paul Giroud, professor of clinical pharmacology, member of the Academy of Medicine and author of “Self-medication: the expert guide” (ed. De la Martinière).