Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is caused by either bacterial, viral infections or allergic reactions to pollen or chemicals. It is an inflammation of the eyeball's conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin tissue that covers the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. It makes the eye appear pink. It is quite different from a red eye condition, though pink eye can cause red eye to happen.
Not only does pink eye cause the eye to look bad, there are other symptoms to be aware of. A person's eyes will have a gritty feeling to them. There will be a watery or thick buildup and discharge while sleeping, creating sticky eyes. The eyes will feel itchy and there will be much tearing.
Pink eye can be caused by a number of different things. The most common form is a viral infection. Bacteria can also cause conjunctivitis. Some types of allergens, such as pollen, perfume, can create pink eye, so your eye doctor will want to know a lot about your recent activities, especially if you have chronic pink eye conditions. Some chemicals like smoke, bad eye drops, or others can also create pink eye conditions.
It is contagious, meaning people with pink eye can give it to others. In its viral form, it may also have symptoms like that of a common cold. Interestingly enough, children usually get a viral form, whereas adults typically get the bacterial form. Both kinds start in one eye and later spread to the other eye. The condition can last up to two weeks, and a person can transmit pink eye for up to two weeks.
The bacterial form is the same that causes dangerous strep throat and staph infections.
Diagnosis by an eye doctor is relatively simple. Determining if it is caused by a virus, from bacteria, or an allergen is much more difficult. Antibiotics do not work on the viral forms of pink eye but work well on the bacterial forms.
Pink Eye Prevention
You need to wash your face with soap and water, and then after putting away any washcloth or facial wipes you have used, wash your hands again. The bacteria or virus that can cause pink eye are most readily transferred by rubbing your eyes with your hands.
If someone in the home has pink eye, it is best to use separate washcloths and towels. It would also be a good idea to regularly disinfect all doorknobs in the home since those can easily pass harmful viruses and bacteria.
Call Us Today If You Are Suffering From Pink Eye
If you have pink eye, it may be serious. Come see us as soon as you can. We have offices in both Charlotte and Ballantyne.