In so doing, the said specialty nurses are expected to attend to the actual and potential needs of the clients who are experiencing visual impairment or deficits.
As such, this paper aims to critically analyze infection control issues pertaining to conjunctivitis, which is one of the ophthalmic ailments that are of major concern to ophthalmic nurses. ANYONE can get conjunctivitis (Health Protection Agency [HPA] North West, 2007) - students in school, patients in hospital or long-term care facilities, and even doctors and nurses in any health care institution. Due to its highly infective nature, prompt intervention and appropriate management are definitely indispensable. In this regard, nursing interventions that are particularly focused on infection control issues in clients with conjunctivitis shall be typified in due course of this paper. Hence, the discussion and critical analysis herein shall be guided by reputable references and relevant literatures in order to exemplify the aforementioned purpose of this essay.
Conjunctivitis, which is commonly called "pinkeye", is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the eyelids- bulbar and palpebral conjunctiva- and extends over the white of the eye (sclera) (Berman et al., 2008). In general, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) North West (2007), the characteristics of conjunctivitis are (1) swollen eyelids - sometimes causing the eye to almost fully close, (2) pink/red eyes, (3) sore, itchy and sometimes painful eyes, (4) a discharge causing the eye to be sticky and crusty, and (5) sometimes the sticky discharge may cause the eyelids to stick together after sleeping (HPA, 2007).
Moreover, conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, virus, allergy, chemical, or other irritants (San Diego City Schools Nursing and Wellness Program, 2002). On the other hand, conjunctivitis can also be caused by foreign bodies (HPA, 2007; Berman et al., 2008: 586). An example of this would be a piece of grit. In this case, conjunctivitis of only one eye may well indicate the presence of a "foreign body" (HPA, 2007).
Types of Conjunctivitis
The following are the general types of conjunctivitis and the essential facts about each type, respectively.
Bacterial conjunctivitis can be transmitted through:
1. contact with eye discharge
2. contaminated fingers, clothing, or other articles
3. upper respiratory tract of infected persons (San Diego City Schools Nursing and Wellness Program, 2002: 2)
Incubation period: 24 to 72 hours
Contagious period: anytime during course of active infection
Signs and symptoms:
1. Sclera red or pink
2. Lining of eyelid inflamed in one or both eyes
3. Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
4. Moderate tearing
5. Minimal or no itching
6. Blurred vision that clears with blinking
7. Purulent discharge (yellow pus)
8. Dried discharge (crusting) on eyelids upon awakening (often matted shut)
9. Swollen eyelids (San Diego City Schools Nursing and Wellness Program, 2002: 2)
In the same way as bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis