Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye, is a condition where the conjunctiva becomes infected and inflamed. Blood vessels in the eye dilate and cause redness, which is why the condition is commonly called pink eye. Keep reading to learn more about this problem.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:
• Pink or red eyes
• Swelling in the eyes
• Yellowish discharge or watery eyes
• Itching and eye irritation
• Crusted eyelids or lashes as a result of the discharge
What causes conjunctivitis?
There are three main causes of conjunctivitis, allergies, bacterial infections, and viral infections.
In some cases problems can also be caused by leaving contact lenses in when you shouldn’t.
How can you stop the spread of conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is unpleasant and incredibly contagious if it is caused by bacteria or a virus. The following tips can help you prevent it from spreading to your other eye or to other people:
• Wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
• Avoid touching your eyes or your face
• Wash your hands after applying any eye drops or ointment
• Do not share anything that you touch with other people
• Wash your pillowcases, sheets, and other household items
How is it treated?
In many cases conjunctivitis can clear up on its own. If conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, it usually clears up when the allergen is removed or when allergy medication is taken.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) conjunctivitis caused by viruses usually clears up after about 7-14 days and conjunctivitis caused by bacteria usually clears up after 2-5 days.
The way conjunctivitis is treated depends on the cause of the problem. If the problem is caused by allergies, you may be given eye drops or allergy medication. If the problem is caused by a virus, you may be given eye drops to relieve irritation. If the infection is caused by bacteria, it may be treated by anti bacterial eye drops or an ointment.
It is wise to visit your eye doctor if you notice any symptoms of conjunctivitis so that you can get relief as quickly as possible. If you notice changes in your vision or sensitivity to light in addition to having irritated eyes, it is crucial to visit the eye doctor since there could be a more serious problem.
To learn more about conjunctivitis and protecting your eyes, schedule an appointment at the Aloha Eye Clinic.