pink eye (conjunctivitis)
when should i seek immediate medical attention?
Pink eyes, or conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids. Pink eye refers to a viral or bacterial infection of the conjunctiva. These infections are very contagious. There are many causes of pink eye. The most common cause of pink eye is viruses. Other causes include: allergies, bacteria, chemical exposure, and contact lenses.
what are the symptoms?
- Increased tearing
- Eye pain
- Redness in the eyes
- Gritty feeling in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Crusts that form on the eyelid overnight matting the eyelashes
how is pink eye diagnosed?
Diagnosis is typically made by the signs and symptoms that you have and after examination of your eyes.
How is it treated?
Medication, usually eye drops, is effective for pink eye and will help prevent bacterial conjunctivitis. Most infections will even resolve on their own. Eye drops should be inserted in the inner part of the lower eyelid. The discomfort with pink eye can be soothed by applying a warm compress (a clean cloth soaked in warm water) to closed eyes. Eye secretions are contagious for 24 to 48 hours after therapy begins.
Things that may help prevent pink eye
- Keep hands away from the eye
- Wash the hands frequently
- Change pillowcases frequently
- Replace eye cosmetics regularly
- Do no share eye cosmetics
- Do not share towels or handkerchiefs
- Proper use and care of contact lenses. Throw away your current pair of contact lenses and after symptoms are gone and use a new pair of contacts.