Pink Eye Symptoms and Treatment

What is pink eye?

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious condition that affects the thin, transparent covering of the white of your eye and inside of your eyelids. Pink eye causes inflammation of the blood vessels, causing bright red, bloodshot eyes. Additionally, pink eye will lead to discharge from the eyes that sometimes is paired with other symptoms such as sinus congestion, runny nose, persistent cough, ear aches, pain in the eyes, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids, and swollen lymph nodes.

 

What causes pink eye?

There are three primary types of conjunctivitis. They are categorized by what causes them to inflict those who carry pink eye, as follows:

 

Viral Conjunctivitis– As the name states, this form of pink eye is caused by a viral infection, much like the common cold. This is the most common and contagious form of pink eye. It is best to seek medical treatment to clear this infection up quickly.

 

Bacterial Conjunctivitis– Again, as the name states, this form of pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection. This is the most dangerous form of pink eye because if it is left untreated it can lead to serious complications including damage to the eye.

 

Allergic Conjunctivitis– This form of pink eye is caused by irritants in the eye such as pollen, dust, and animal dander. This may be a seasonal issue for some people affected by pollen, or a year-round issue for those who have other sensitivities. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious like the other forms of pink eye are.

 

How does pink eye spread?

Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis are both highly contagious forms of pink eye that are spread through direct contact with those who are infected. If someone in your home has an infectious form of pink eye they need to avoid touching the area around their eye, unless they are applying medication. After applying your medications, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Avoid sharing pillows, towels, and anything else that is close to your face.

 

What are my treatment options for pink eye?

Most often you will be given a medicated eye wash, put into an eye drop bottle that you will use as your doctor directs. Sometimes, this will be paired with an oral prescription medication.

 

 

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