Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a swelling or infection of the conjunctiva caused by a virus, bacteria, or allergies. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent layer that covers the white part of the eye and the inner part of the eyelid.
With pink eye, the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva swell and become more visible. As a result, your eye may appear pink or red. Although pink eye can be aggravating, it rarely affects your eyesight. Your optometrist can help ease pink eye discomfort.
Viral and bacterial pink eye can be quite infectious, unlike allergic conjunctivitis. The contagious form of pink eye spreads through:
Viral and bacterial pink eye are most common among children. That is because they are in close contact with other children in daycare centers or schools. Also, children are not always keen on practicing or maintaining good hygiene.
Pink eye often starts with pain or the feeling of something stuck in your eye. The infection may start in one eye but often spreads to the other.
Your symptoms may comprise:
Pus, mucus, or yellow discharge from your infected eye. The discharge can be so much that it glues your eyelashes together.
Does pink eye go away? How can you get rid of pink eye?
It is usually difficult for a person to tell what is causing their symptoms. That is why your eye doctor must check your eyes. The type of pink eye you have will determine your treatment. A proper examination and diagnosis will help ensure you get the right cure.
For instance, the viral pink eye goes away naturally after seven to 14 days, while bacterial pink eye needs antibiotic treatment. If you are showing pink eye symptoms, contact your eye doctor for an eye checkup.
Since bacterial and viral pink eye is so contagious, keeping your hands and eyes clean is essential to stop their spread. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before touching your face or eating.
Also, keep your eyes clean by cleaning any eye discharge with a sterile paper towel or cotton ball. Afterward, throw away the paper towel or cotton ball and wash your hands with clean water and soap. Do not rub or touch your affected eye. Instead, use a clean tissue to wipe.
Keep your laundry bed linens, pillows, and pillowcases clean, and change them daily until your eyes heal. Also, do not share these items, as well as glasses, contact lenses and cases, eye drops, and makeup.
Place a washcloth dipped in warm water on your eye for a few minutes twice or thrice daily. That will help soothe the pain and wipe away the sticky discharge that may collect on your eyelashes.
For more on treating pink eye, visit Eyecare Center Optometrist, PSC, at our offices in Richmond, Lexington, Beattyville, Irvine, or McKee, Kentucky. Call (859) 208-2020, (859) 623-6643, (859) 272-2449, (606) 464-8148, (606) 287-8477, or (606) 726-9321 to book an appointment today.