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Allergic vs. Irritant Conjunctivitis (Pediatric Nursing)

by Paula Ruedebusch

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    00:00 Now let's talk about allergic conjunctivitis or allergic pink eye.

    00:03 This is noninfectious. The patient will not spread this to other people.

    00:07 This is caused by allergies and it's a local response to the pollen, perfumes, smoke, eye drops.

    00:14 Anything that's irritating this patient's eye in an allergic way.

    00:18 This is gonna cause histamine to be release from the mast cells and the small vessels are going to vasodilate.

    00:24 Remember, this is not contagious.

    00:26 Patients will classically come in with allergic pink eye and have excessive itching of their eyes.

    00:32 They've been rubbing at their eyes all day and this also causes some redness.

    00:37 Now, this is the symptom that really scares patients.

    00:39 It's called conjunctival edema or chemosis.

    00:42 And this is where the eyeball can actually get a little bit swollen and change shape and look a little bit lumpy.

    00:46 And it's not serious but it does worry patients.

    00:49 It's usually bilateral and the patient should not have any eye pain.

    00:53 Remember, itching is the hallmark.

    00:55 And the patient may have other allergic symptoms such as rhinitis which is a runny nose.

    00:59 They won't have a fever and they may have some sneezing.

    01:03 So how do we care for allergic conjunctivitis? Just basic eye care.

    01:08 I give my patients a cool compress and have them irrigate with, you know, a cool substance.

    01:12 Topical antihistamines, eye drops with mast cells stabilizers are used and NSAIDs can help decrease that inflammation.

    01:21 The last type is an irritant pink eye or a chemical pink eye.

    01:25 This is also noninfectious; cannot be spread.

    01:27 This is caused by lots of things.

    01:30 Sometimes a chemical splash in the workplace or at home, a foreign body.

    01:33 Chlorine, when patients go swimming, a lot of times their eyes will turn red.

    01:38 And sometimes makeup can have this effect.

    01:40 And remember, this cannot be spread. This is not contagious.

    01:45 So patients will come in and they will have excessive lacrimation, right? Increased tearing or watery eyes. They're gonna have some eye discharge.

    01:52 And depending on the chemical, they may have some eye pain.

    01:56 How do we manage this? We need the patient to flush their eyes.

    02:00 And sometimes this is for 10 to 15 to 20 minutes and this is also an irritating procedure.

    02:06 You're gonna follow the eye care recommendations of the material safety data sheet or the MSDS for whatever substance was in their eye.

    02:14 And you might need to call the poison control center and seek professional care if it's a caustic irritant.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Allergic vs. Irritant Conjunctivitis (Pediatric Nursing) by Paula Ruedebusch is from the course Infectious Diseases – Pediatric Nursing (Quiz Coming Soon) .


    Author of lecture Allergic vs. Irritant Conjunctivitis (Pediatric Nursing)

     Paula Ruedebusch

    Paula Ruedebusch


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