If you have children you have heard the words “pink eye”. Although a disease that is often associated with kids and daycare, anyone can contract pink eye. Better know as conjunctivitis, it can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or an environmental irritant. If you have pink eye, it won’t always go away on its own. If the cause is bacterial, you need to seek medical care. Bacteria conjunctivitis will not only continue to grow, it will most likely spread to others that you come in contact with. If you suspect that you or your child has conjunctivitis you should seek the care of either your doctor, pediatrician, or optometrist.
What is it?
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an eye condition that is cause by inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is clear tissue just on the inside of the eye. There are several things that can cause the inflammation, including allergies, bacteria, viruses or environmental irritation. The reason that it is called “pink eye” is because the major symptom is that the whites of the eye become pink, red ,and inflamed.
What is the treatment?
The treatment for pink eye is determined by the cause. If it is a bacterial infection, then you are going to need the care of an doctor, maybe from a place like North Terrace Optometrists, for the prescription of antibiotics. A liquid antibiotic is usually prescribed for the eye, given for a maximum of seven days, with treatment given three to four times a day. If it is a virus, then pink eye needs no treatment. A viral infection is caused by the same virus that causes the common cold. It just needs time to run their course. The only time you will need treatment is if there is a secondary infection due to irritation. Both bacterial and viral pink eye are contagious so it is important to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid contact with others.
For allergies or irritants
If pink eye is caused by allergies or environmental irritants, cold compresses do a good job reducing the inflammation and the discomfort that can result. There is no medication needed for these types of pink eye conditions. They just need time to calm down and resolve. Benadryl and other antihistamines may also help to alleviate some of the discomfort. Flushing the eye thoroughly with water may help to eliminate any object that may be causing the irritation.
There are times when you need the medical advice of an optometrist for the treatment of pink eye, and times when you don’t. If you suspect pink eye, however, it is always best to rule out bacterial or viral causes to stop the spread to others.Read More