Conjunctivitis during pregnancy is not uncommon, and the specificity of its treatment is the prohibition of most of the control measures. Despite the fact that the disease itself does not pose a danger to the fetus, some medications are contraindicated for women during the period of gestation and feeding of the child.
In the case of conjunctivitis in pregnant women, treatment should be harmless to the child. Many future mothers resort to traditional medicine. However, drug treatment should be primary. Anyway, the symptoms of conjunctivitis cause a number of inconveniences for pregnant women, so let’s consider together how it can be cured in the shortest possible time.
What it is?
Conjunctivitis – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eyelids, conjunctiva, very thin and sensitive membrane connecting the inner surface of the eye and the eyeball. This inflammatory process is usually caused by allergens and infections (viral and bacterial).
It should be noted that infectious conjunctivitis occurs much more often during pregnancy than allergic or contact. This is due to the fact that women in the “position” of the general immunity is slightly reduced and they are more vulnerable to infections and viruses.
Childbearing is always a decrease in the immune defense and weakening of the mother’s body. Against this background, the inflammatory process may appear under the influence of such provoking factors, as:
- catarrhal viral infections;
- lack of vitamins that provide nutrition to the eyes;
- hygiene violations;
- severe myopia;
- improper wearing of contact lenses;
- acute and chronic diseases of the ear, nose and throat;
- physical or chemical influences (smoke, dust, heat, cold wind).
The occurrence of conjunctivitis during pregnancy is caused by the same reasons as in normal cases. Can cause disease:
- Bacterial infection (bacterial conjunctivitis).
- Viral infection.
- Contact with various allergens (pollen of plants during their flowering, animal hair, chemicals that make up cosmetics, household chemicals, etc.). Any substance can serve as an allergen, but in pregnant women allergic inflammation of the conjunctiva rarely occurs for the first time, and is usually recurrent in nature. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis occurs most often in pregnant women, and its exacerbations in most cases occur in the spring or early summer.
- Foreign agents entering the eyes and causing contact conjunctivitis.
- Violation of instructions for use of contact lenses. In this case, contact conjunctivitis also develops.
- Microorganisms that are sexually transmitted, such as chlamydia.
Signs of bacterial conjunctivitis usually are:
- yellow or greenish discharge from the eyes;
- puffiness of the eyelids;
- redness of the whites of the eyes.
The infection can affect one or both eyes.
In viral conjunctivitis there is a strong reddening of the eyes, itching, despite the fact that thick discharge is absent. With some viral infections, tearing may increase. In most cases, viral conjunctivitis affects both eyes. In addition to common signs of conjunctivitis, patients may experience the usual symptoms of colds: fever, chills, headache, cough, etc.
Because pregnant women have weakened immune defenses, they are more vulnerable to infectious conjunctivitis pathogens.
The probability of developing other varieties of this disease in pregnant women is neither higher nor lower than that of other people. Allergic conjunctivitis usually causes redness of the eyes, tearing and severe itching. Allergens often cause other symptoms as well: a runny nose, sneezing or a skin rash.
Is conjunctivitis dangerous during pregnancy?
In most cases, conjunctivitis during pregnancy does not pose any danger to the woman herself or her unborn child. With timely treatment, the disease quickly passes, without causing any complications. Contact conjunctivitis develops when there are foreign objects in the eyes, certain chemicals, and also because of wearing contact lenses. This type of disease also passes quickly and without complications.
Infectious conjunctivitis is also considered harmless: the likelihood that its pathogens will spread to a child is small, although if it is caused by adenoviruses, it is worth taking measures to prevent a cold in a child.
Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious at all and causes discomfort only to the patient herself.
About the fact that such a conjunctival hyperemia, read here.
However, when signs of conjunctivitis appear, pregnant women should immediately see a doctor. This will eliminate or diagnose chlamydial conjunctivitis in time.
This type of conjunctivitis in most cases is a sign of untreated chlamydia, which may affect the health of the child. In women infected with chlamydia during pregnancy, the likelihood of intrauterine infections, premature rupture of the membranes and premature birth is increased. Chlamydia has also been proven to increase the likelihood of contracting other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and this infection can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth.
In 25-50% of children born to mothers infected with chlamydia, conjunctivitis develops in the first days after birth, and from 5% to 30% of babies become ill with pneumonia in a few weeks or months after giving birth.
Chlamydia often proceeds almost imperceptibly, and women may not even suspect for a long time that they are infected. Even if the pregnancy has already come, timely treatment significantly reduces the risk of developing complications associated with chlamydia.
Conjunctivitis, the causative agents of which are other microorganisms, as a rule, do not affect the course of pregnancy and the health of the child.
Read about the festering eye of a newborn here.
The diagnosis of conjunctivitis is established by an oculist. after inspection of a pregnant woman. In order to determine the exact cause of the disease, the doctor asks the patient about the diseases and working conditions.
Sometimes an additional doctor prescribes the analysis of discharge from the eye to determine the pathogen. In some cases it may also be necessary to consult other specialists (urologist, gynecologist, allergist).
How to treat conjunctivitis in pregnant women?
To determine the method of treatment of conjunctivitis in adults, you must first establish its type. Partly cope with unpleasant symptoms will help home remedies, for example, warm and cold compresses. To do this, you will need a small piece of cloth or a towel moistened with water, which is applied to the eyelids for 5-10 minutes. Instead of water, it is better to use a decoction of chamomile or mint.
In the morning on the eyelids and eyelashes can accumulate dried scurf, which must be carefully removed with warm water. In the event of an itch, you should never rub your eyes, as this may aggravate the situation and delay the healing process. To relieve swelling and redness, doctors recommend using moisturizing drops from conjunctivitis, also called “artificial tears.”
How to treat a festering eye in adults, read the article.
The main complaints in a pregnant woman:
- feeling of sand in the eyes;
An obligatory condition before any medical actions – consultation with an ophthalmologist. For periods of up to twelve weeks, it is necessary to minimize the intake of any kind of medication, limited to local anti-inflammatory therapy. Herbal remedies are absolutely safe: washing the eyes with a decoction of chamomile or sage. Any other medications in the first trimester of pregnancy should be used. only with the permission of the doctor.
In the second and third trimesters, the doctor may without fear of prescribing such medications, as:
- astringent drops (0.25% zinc sulfate, 1% resorcinol solution);
- interferon drops used in viral conjunctivitis;
- ophthalmic antimicrobial solutions approved for use in pregnant women;
- antimicrobial eye ointment.
Strictly contraindicated all drugs, which include hormonal components, toxic antibiotics, solutions for eyes with heavy metal salts.
Treatment of conjunctivitis in pregnant women with antibiotics is prescribed only in cases when the patient is diagnosed with a bacterial form, and the improvement from local remedies does not occur after a week or more. Also, antibiotics will be needed for pregnant women with immunodeficiency. It is especially important to timely treat chlamydial conjunctivitis, about the dangers mentioned above. In this case, the treatment must take both partners. Until the end of the course of therapy should refrain from sexual contact: this can lead to re-infection of chlamydia.
With allergic conjunctivitis The doctor may prescribe antihistamine eye drops to the patient. It is safer than taking antihistamines orally, and very rarely leads to complications. Allergic conjunctivitis in a nursing mother can also be treated with eye drops with antihistamines: most of them are excreted in breast milk and are not dangerous for the baby. However, taking antihistamines can only be prescribed by a doctor.
Remember: taking any non-prescription drugs during pregnancy and lactation on their own initiative is strictly prohibited.
What is the treatment of barley on the eye of an adult read in detail in the material.
Colds can be the main cause of conjunctivitis during pregnancy. A comprehensive preventive effect on the body of a pregnant woman is required to enhance the protective functions of the body. Usually the doctor gives following recommendations:
- taking multivitamin preparations;
- treatment of inflammatory diseases in neighboring organs (otitis media, pharyngitis, tracheitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, rhinitis);
- strict adherence to the rules of wearing contact lenses;
- timely correction of visual acuity;
- eye protection from harmful environmental factors.
It is impossible to increase immunity with the help of special preparations for pregnant women. therefore, the main task is to be careful not to overcool, not to rub your eyes and to wash your hands regularly.
Video on how to cure conjunctivitis folk remedies.
So, conjunctivitis during pregnancy – a problem that is frequent, but completely solvable. The main thing is not to take any medication without consulting an optometrist. If everything is done correctly, then conjunctivitis during pregnancy, the treatment of which is carried out only by an eye doctor, will not become a serious problem for the woman’s vision and for the health of the baby.
Read more about conjunctivitis in children aged 2 years at the link.