Is it Pink Eye?

Eye ExamConjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the clear membranes that protect the whites of the eye. When pink eye is caused by allergens such as dust or pollen it cannot be transmitted, but when caused by a virus or bacteria, the condition is highly contagious. Unlike other eye diseases, conjunctivitis, can be self diagnosed. However, at Valley Eyecare Center we encourage you to schedule an eye exam to get the right treatment as it differs depending on its cause. Keep reading to learn the cases, symptoms and treatments for pink eye.

Causes

Pink eye is caused by viruses and bacteria that are transported from the hands to eyes. It is not a severe disease, but it lasts over 2 weeks with plenty of discomfort. If caused by a virus or bacteria, it can spread very fast from person to person, by contact.

Symptoms

Symptoms roughly include redness in the white of the eye, excessive tearing up, yellow, green, or white discharge, itching or burning of the eyes, as well as blurred or sensitive vision. Having any of these symptoms, you may want to contact your eye doctor for proper evaluation.

Treatments

Treatments vary regarding what caused the conjunctivitis. If the case was bacteria, it should be treated with antibiotics (either eye drops, ointments, or pills), prescribed by your eye doctor. If the cause of your pink eye were viruses, time is the best remedy. Your conjunctivitis needs to run its course and it will fully go away in about a week. This form of pink eye is quite contagious through simple physical contact. It is recommended to throw away makeup or contact lenses applied while you had pink eye to avoid future implications. If your conjunctivitis was caused by irritants, you can simply use water to flush out the substance for about 5 minutes. Within a few hours, you should see improvement. If the pink eye was caused by some sort of bleach, rinse with water constantly and call your eye doctor right away.

For more information about pink eye or to schedule an eye exam, contact Valley Eyecare Center.

How to Limit the Spread of Pink Eye

Eye DoctorsConjunctivitis is an inflammation of the clear membranes that protect the whites of the eye. Eye doctors often refer to the condition by the colorful name of “pink eye” due to the redness it causes.

When caused by allergens such as dust or pollen, pink eye cannot be transmitted. However, the viral and bacterial forms are highly contagious. Use these tips to prevent passing the condition along to others.

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes

Itchiness may reflexively cause you to rub your eyes, but contact with the drainage resulting from pink eye is what causes it to spread.

Wash your hands frequently

Use plenty of soap and warm water. If they’re not available, use liberal applications of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum concentration of 60 percent.

Clean your eyes several times a day

Carefully wipe away the discharge with a clean washcloth, cotton ball or tissue. Make sure the washcloth is laundered before reuse.

Wash linens with hot water and detergent

Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases and other fabric items that may come into contact with your face.

Do not wear or share eye makeup

Applying makeup, even if it’s your own, can cause continual reinfection of your eyes. Dispose of all products and purchase new ones after the pink eye has cleared.

Stay out of swimming pools

The water can cause the infection to spread quickly, and the chlorine will further irritate your already sensitive eyes.

Do not wear contact lenses

Once the infection has passed, clean your contact lenses thoroughly before resuming use.

Keep children home from school

If you have kids who develop pink eye, they should stay home to avoid spreading it to their classmates. Most schools and day care facilities have a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after treatment begins before kids can return.

Our skilled eye doctors have extensive experience in effective treatment of pink eye and other conditions. Contact Valley Eyecare Center today to schedule an appointment.