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    Stressing the need for child vision screenings

     

    Back to school: Avoiding pink eye

    Another point of concern for parents is the possible transmission of pink eye while their children are at school. Many eye-care specialists have difficulty differentiating between viral and bacterial cases of pink eye, but a rapid, in-office test (AdenoPlus, RPS Diagnostics) detects serotypes of adenoviral conjunctivitis and can help specialists determine the type of pink eye in which a child may present.

    The device offers a 90% sensitivity and a specificity of 96%, the company said.

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    “Conjunctivitis is one of the most common conditions seen in medical offices, and a leading medical cause of children missing school,” said Robert Sambursky, MD, president and chief executive officer, RPS. “An accurate diagnosis is the key to improving patient outcomes and preventing the spread of disease.”

    At the same time, many children with adenoviral conjunctivitis (the most common type of viral pink eye) are misdiagnosed and sent back to school while still contagious. Forms of viral pink eye can also present in patients as pharyngitis or pneumonia, according to the company.

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    Once the in-office test reveals a specification as to the type of pink eye, the following guidelines may be appropriate for the patient:

     

    Viral pink eye:

    ·      Patient should stay out of work, school, or daycare until there are no symptoms (redness, tearing, itching, etc.).

    ·      Use artificial tears

    ·      Apply cool compresses to the infected eye 3 to 4 times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a clean washcloth each time.

    ·      Use a clean pillowcase each night.

    ·      Wear sunglasses if eyes are light-sensitive.

    ·      Throw away makeup to prevent re-infection.

    ·      Do not wear contact lenses while feeling discomfort, especially if eyes remain red.

    ·      Patient should wash hands frequently and try to avoid touching eyes.

    ·      Use disinfecting agents with noted kill assessments for adenovirus (i.e., 10% bleach solution).

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    Bacterial pink eye:

    ·      Wash hands frequently and avoid touching others.

    ·      Use antibiotic eye drop or ointment.

    ·      Stay at home for 24 to 48 hours after beginning the treatment. After this amount of time has passed, it is generally safe to return to work, school, or daycare with little risk of spreading the infection.

         Additional resources

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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