When you have a common cold, you do not usually think that it can cost you your good eyesight. Aside from having itchy and uncomfortable teary eyes, we generally do not think about our eyes when we have a common cold. The fact is, a common cold can actually affect the eyes to the point of vision impairment.
So, when does a cold turn into an eye problem?
Generally a common cold will come and go in just a few days leaving no problems to the eye, as well as the rest of the body. In fact, a lot of people do not go to their doctors when they have cold. They just wait for it to be gone in a few days. A common cold can turn into an eye problem when the cold turns in to viral conjunctivitis.
What is viral conjunctivitis?
Viral conjunctivitis is caused by an adenovirus. Adenovirus cause other conditions too, such as colds, respiratory illnesses, bronchitis, and other conditions. When it comes to the eyes, it can cause excessive itchiness, redness, and watering. It is similar to bacterial conjunctivitis in the sense that bacterial conjunctivitis also causes the same conditions as colds with the same redness, watering and itchiness of the eye. The difference between the viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis lists as the viral conjunctivitis generally lasts longer. No treatment exists for that particular strain of the virus. In fact, viral conjunctivitis can last up to eight weeks.
How does viral conjunctivitis affect the eye?
The excessive watering, redness and itchiness are just some of the symptoms of the viral conjunctivitis on the eyes. The problem with the viral conjunctivitis is the infection. Once the infection sets in, it can then get into the cornea. When this spreads, the cornea can develop swelling. When this occurs, the cornea may become damaged which can lead to vision impairment.
What can you do to protect your eyes?
The most important thing is to prevent the eye getting infected. One of the most common reasons why the virus gets into the eye and infects it is touching the eyes. When one has viral conjunctivitis, the virus can enter the tear ducts, which can then cause the infection. It becomes important to remember to always wash one’s hand when one is sick. Since conjunctivitis cases eye itchiness and watering, it can become quite difficult to prevent one from touching or rubbing one’s eyes, but if possible, try not to touch or rub your eyes with your hands and tissue as this can actually spread the virus. If you cannot help it, just use a tissue and throw it away once you have already used it on your eyes.
If you notice that your eye feels like it is becoming more irritated, consult your eye doctor immediately. Do not let unusual itchiness and watering to last for days. For any eye problem, whether it is due to viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, it is best to see an eye doctor. You can visit Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, one of the leading Lasik or laser eye centers in Houston.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugar Land Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.