If you’re concerned about pink eye, visit Blaine Eye Clinic right away. Our staff can address your symptoms and prevent contaminating other people. Keep reading to learn more about pink eye and how to treat the condition.
What Is Pink Eye?
Pink eye (also called conjunctivitis) is an infection of the membranes that line the eye. The blood vessels in this thin layer swell up, making the eye look pink or red.
People of any age are susceptible to pink eye or conjunctivitis. Kids and babies are often more likely to have this infection.
While the condition is very contagious, it won’t usually cause serious issues. With treatment, pink eye often goes away in about two weeks. People who aren’t treated may have conjunctivitis for a month or more.
Pink eye symptoms include eye itchiness and redness. Many people experience crusty discharge and tearing in one or both eyes. Some also feel as if they have sand particles between their eyelid and their eye, making it feel gritty.
Many people start with conjunctivitis in one eye. The infection may travel to the other eye without adequate hygiene.
What Causes Pink Eye?
Bacterial conjunctivitis passes from one person to the next. For example, an infected child may rub their eyes and then use that hand to turn on the drinking fountain. People who get a drink afterward may touch the bacteria and then become infected with pink eye.
Viral conjunctivitis often comes with common viral infections. People who have chickenpox, mumps, rubella, or measles are at a high risk of developing pink eye.
People who have viral infections have a higher likelihood of developing pink eye. This list includes sore throats, upper respiratory infections, and bronchitis.
Babies whose tear ducts are not open may also develop conjunctivitis. They have a higher risk of developing the disease because their tears can’t cleanse their ducts.
Irritation or an allergic reaction can also cause pink eye. People with eye trauma like corneal scratches are also more likely to develop pink eye.
How Is Pink Eye Treated?
Optometrists treat bacterial pink eye symptoms with artificial tears to clean the eyes. They may also recommend using warm compresses to limit the membrane swelling.
Avoid wearing contacts and using makeup as they can irritate the eye. Some conjunctivitis requires antibiotic eye drops. Most pink eye is viral and won’t respond to this treatment. This variety often goes away on its own within a week.
How Can I Avoid Developing Pink Eye?
If someone in your household has conjunctivitis, you are more likely to develop pink eye. Make sure to wash their sheets, towels, and pillowcases to lower the chance of reinfection. Assign a special hand towel for them to avoid spreading the condition to others.
If you’re infected, throw away disposable contacts or makeup that you used while you’ve had conjunctivitis. Soak reusable contacts in an overnight contact disinfectant solution.
Regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face, as this can cause pink eye exposure.
Many hospitals apply antibacterial eye ointment on newborns shortly after birth. This practice helps prevent pink eye caused by the bacteria from their mother’s birth canal.
Have your babies tear ducts examined during a doctor’s appointment in case they are not fully open. Some babies have out-patient procedures or surgery to prevent blockage. A blockage can lead to infection.
If you’re concerned about pink eye, visit the eye disease experts at Blaine Eye Clinic to address your symptoms. The experienced eye care team will see you immediately.
They can provide treatments to make you feel better and prevent spreading the condition to others. Schedule an appointment at Blaine Eye Clinic in Blaine, MN to discuss pink eye and other eye conditions!