Pink Eye: Symptoms, Cautions and Treatments
Pink eye is a very common eye condition that looks exactly how it sounds. Also referred to as conjunctivitis, symptoms are conjunctiva (mucous membrane lining the eye surface and eyelid) swelling (inflammation) and redness. Although pink eye can happen to anyone, because most forms are contagious, it is especially common among students of preschool age up to college, as well as people who come into close contact with these people such as daycare workers and teachers. The main cause in spreading this condition is improper hand washing and/or sharing an item with someone who is afflicted.
There are three main kinds of pink eye: viral, bacterial, and allergy conjunctivitis. Each of these has slightly unique symptoms and treatments. The form that is caused by a virus will likely show up as itchy, watery eyes and a sensitivity to light occurring in one or both eyes. This form is highly contagious, so it’s important to take care so as not to affect others you come into contact with. Outside medical treatment is often unnecessary, as viral conjunctivitis will generally go away by itself after a period of five to seven days. You can apply a cold, wet washcloth to the eyes at different points during your day to help relieve symptoms. (If the symptoms are in only one eye, be sure not to touch the other eye with the cloth.) If you’re having more severe issues, you can use artificial tears, available over the counter at the drugstore.
For bacterial pink eye, you might notice a discharge that is sticky and yellow or greenish-yellow in your eye corner. It can be severe enough in certain cases to result in your eyelids to be stuck together when you open your eyes in the morning. This form is also contagious and you should be careful not to touch your infected eye. Also take heed with any things that come into contact with the eye. For this type of conjunctivitis, your ophthalmologist will generally prescribe antibiotic ointments or eye drops. Bacterial pink eye can be very dangerous if you don’t get it treated, so it’s important to differentiate between this and other forms.
Conjunctivitis caused by allergies will usually show up in both eyes and look like redness in parts of the eye, itchiness, blurred vision, inflammation or swelling, and sometimes an above average amount of tears. This form of pink eye is not contagious and can be treated by allergy medications or artificial tears (refrigerate them for best results). To learn more about pink eye in Chula Vista, please visit this website.
Jessica is an experienced eye care specialist. You can find her thoughts at tumblr blog.
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