conjunctivitis treatment in cardiff

Conjunctivitis: Causes and Pharmacy Treatments

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is a condition that affects the thin layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. This condition can be caused by various factors including bacteria, viruses, allergies, or irritants, leading to symptoms such as redness, itching, discharge, and tearing. While conjunctivitis is typically not a serious condition, it can be uncomfortable and contagious, making prompt treatment essential. In this blog, we will delve into the causes of conjunctivitis and explore the treatments available through our pharmacy in Cardiff and the provision of conjunctivitis treatment through the Common Ailments Scheme in Wales for individuals over 2 years of age.

Understanding the Causes of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can be categorised into three main types based on its underlying cause: bacterial, viral, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This type of conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, a yellow or green discharge, and crusting of the eyelids.

Viral Conjunctivitis: Viral conjunctivitis is commonly caused by viruses associated with the common cold or upper respiratory infections, such as adenovirus. It is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include redness, and watery discharge, and often affect both eyes.

Allergic Conjunctivitis: Allergic conjunctivitis occurs due to exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or certain chemicals. It is characterised by itching, redness, tearing, and swelling of the conjunctiva. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and may be seasonal or perennial, depending on the allergen.

Our team at Hopwoods Pharmacy can only treat bacterial conjunctivitis through the NHS Common Ailments Scheme. You may need to see your GP if your infection is viral in nature. 

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Pharmacist-Provided Treatments for Conjunctivitis

Pharmacies play a crucial role in providing accessible and convenient treatment options for conjunctivitis. Hopwoods Pharmacy in Cardiff, as part of the Common Ailments Scheme in Wales, offers treatments for conjunctivitis for individuals over 2 years of age, providing relief from symptoms and promoting faster recovery. Let's explore the treatments available through our pharmacy:

Antibiotic Eye Drops: In cases of bacterial conjunctivitis diagnosed by a pharmacist, antibiotic eye drops may be recommended. These eye drops contain antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, which help combat bacterial infections by inhibiting bacterial growth. Applying the drops as prescribed can help alleviate symptoms and clear the infection within a few days.

Antihistamine Eye Drops: For allergic conjunctivitis, antihistamine eye drops are often recommended to alleviate itching, redness, and other allergic symptoms. These eye drops contain antihistamines such as azelastine or olopatadine, which block the effects of histamine, a chemical released during allergic reactions. Antihistamine eye drops provide relief from symptoms and can be used as needed during allergy seasons or when exposed to allergens.

Artificial Tears: Artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help relieve symptoms of conjunctivitis by moisturising the eyes and reducing dryness and irritation. These drops do not treat the underlying cause of conjunctivitis but provide temporary relief from discomfort. They are safe for use in individuals of all ages and can be used as frequently as needed to maintain eye moisture.

Cold Compresses: Cold compresses can provide soothing relief for inflamed and irritated eyes associated with conjunctivitis. Placing a clean, cold compress over closed eyelids for a few minutes multiple times a day can help reduce redness, swelling, and discomfort. Cold compresses can be used in conjunction with other treatments to enhance symptom relief.

Hygiene Measures: Pharmacies like Hopwoods Pharmacy also provide guidance on proper eye hygiene to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis and promote faster recovery. This includes washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes, and avoiding sharing personal items such as towels or eye makeup.

conjunctivitis treatment in cardiff

Get Conjunctivitis Treatment in Cardiff

Conjunctivitis, though common and often mild, can cause discomfort and inconvenience. Prompt and appropriate treatment is essential to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and reduce the spread of infection, particularly in cases of bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. Our team at Hopwoods Pharmacy in Cardiff play a vital role in providing accessible treatments for conjunctivitis through the Common Ailments Scheme in Wales, offering relief for individuals over 2 years of age. By understanding the causes of conjunctivitis and utilising the NHS Scheme, individuals can effectively manage this condition and maintain good eye health.

Remember, if you suspect you have conjunctivitis or any other eye condition, it's important to consult with a pharmacist for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Contact us today to find out more or book an appointment.