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Postnatal Care

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) during Pregnancy

Pink eye is known as ‘conjunctivitis’ and is a communicable disease that occurs during pregnancy. Besides causing discomfort and redness in the eyes, a pink eye may be transmitted sexually or through physical contact as well. Here is what you need to know about ‘conjunctivitis’ or pink eye during pregnancy.

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is a condition that affects the underside of your eyelids, including the outer member of your eye whites. There is no cause for concern usually since it is a common infection in pregnant women and does not cause any long-term vision loss or eye damage. Conjunctivitis is referred to as ‘Pink Eye’ and goes away in roughly a week’s time.

What Causes Conjunctivitis during Pregnancy?

1. Bacteria

If your eyes look red with yellow discharge and are accompanied by swelling, then it is a case of bacterial conjunctivitis.

2. Virus

Virus
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Viral conjunctivitis occurs due to viruses infecting the eyes. It may affect both the eyes and is accompanied by redness and itching. There may be a slight discharge from the eyes in this case.

3. Seasonal Allergy

Seasonal allergens are common and responsible for causing conjunctivitis during pregnancy. It usually happens during springtime and you’ll notice that your eyes are red, itchy, and cause no drainage.

4. Foreign Body

If sand, dirt, dust or any foreign particles enter your eyelids, you’ll find that it causes tearing, pain, drainage, and redness.

5. Scratching

Scratching your own eye a bit too much leads to redness and tearing. It usually affects only one eye and is really painful.

Common Symptoms of Pink Eye

Common symptoms of a pink eye during pregnancy are-

  • Pus in the eye
  • Redness accompanied by a watery or yellow discharge
  • Swelling in the eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to bright lights
  • Crusts around the eyelid
  • Eye grittiness
  • Itchiness and pain

How to Treat Conjunctivitis when Pregnant?

Treatment options for conjunctivitis during pregnancy are-

1. Topical Antibiotics

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Your doctor will examine your eyes to determine the type of conjunctivitis and prescribe appropriate antibiotics. Prescription antibiotics should be recommended by the physician since some antibiotics may harm the fetus which is why you must let your doctor know that you are pregnant. This also applies if you’re trying to conceive.

2. Eyedrops

These are used for treating bacterial conjunctivitis. Not very effective against Chlamydia conjunctivitis, however and eye drops are based on doctor’s recommendations.

3. Ocular Treatment

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Ocular medications are used to treat conjunctivitis during pregnancy. For more information on this, ask your doctor or physician since ocular treatments are provided on a case-by-case basis.

Natural Remedies for Pink Eye during Pregnancy

Natural remedies for pink eye during pregnancy are-

1. Warm Compress

Warm compress relieves dry eye symptoms and improves blood circulation. Reduces inflammation and is a highly effective pink eye treatment pregnancy.

2. Rose Water

You can use rose water as remedial eye drops to cleanse your eyes and eliminate any particles or irritants.

3. Matcha Green Tea

Dip some matcha green tea bags in boiling water, let them cool, and apply to the affected eye.

4. Proper Hygiene

Keep your hands clean always by practicing proper hygiene. Make sure to physically clean yourself every day to prevent the spread and outbreak of this infection.

5. Honey with Black Pepper Powder

Take half-a-pinch of black pepper powder, mix it with honey and apply it to your eyes. You’ll feel a difference.

How to Prevent Pink Eye in Pregnancy?

You can prevent pink eye in pregnancy by taking the following measures-

  • Prevent sharing eye drops, eye wipes and cosmetics with others
  • Avoid physical contact with infected persons
  • Avoid contact with people who have STIs
  • Wearing eye protective gear or glasses to prevent dust particles and dirt from entering the eyes
  • Washing hands and practising proper hygiene regularly
  • Rinse your eyes regularly and dry properly

Can Conjunctivitis Affect Pregnancy?

Non-pharmacological treatments are preferred for treating conjunctivitis since they prevent conjunctivitis pregnancy dangers. So yes, if you’re using antibiotics or prescription drugs for treatment, it may affect your pregnancy depending on what chemicals enter the fetus.

Conjunctivitis goes away naturally when given time and is normally not a cause for concern. If you notice it persisting for over a week, contact your doctor and ask for treatment recommendations.

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