Better known as pink eye or red eye, conjunctivitis affects most people at some point in their life. This condition is evident through a swelling of the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the sclera (the white portion of the eye). There are three types of pink eye, and it is very important to have conjunctivitis diagnosed by an optometrist so the correct treatment is administered.
An allergic reaction on the skin causes redness and swelling. Allergic conjunctivitis behaves very much the same way, except that it is confined to the eyes. Your body is reacting to harmless stimuli as though it poses a threat to your immune system. Eyes become red, puffy, and itchy. Your eye symptoms are often accompanied by a runny nose or sinus congestion.
A host of environmental and household irritants can cause a reaction. Reducing your exposure to pollen, dander, and dust can help relieve your symptoms. In a more severe flare-up, most over-the-counter allergy medication will aid in recovery. Those with frequent allergic conjunctivitis should talk to their optometrist about regular treatment options.
Like the common cold and influenza, viral pink eye is caused by a virus. Your eyes become sensitive to light, red, itchy, puffy, and have a discharge. Coughing or sneezing easily spreads this ailment, making it important that if you suspect you have viral conjunctivitis you should not attend classes or go to work as it is contagious. Instead, talk to a doctor to confirm your diagnosis.
Like all viruses, this form of pink eye will run its course on its own. Your body will fight off this virus with its own immune response of white blood cells and their antibodies. Eating right, drinking lots of fluids, and getting extra rest can help your body fight the virus.
Caused by bacteria, this type of conjunctivitis is the most severe and contagious. It causes red, puffy eyes with a thick yellowish-green discharge. With bacterial pink eye the discharge may be so thick it glues the eyelid shut in the morning. The bacteria comes from other infections in the system or dirty hands. Keeping your hands clean is the simplest form of prevention and staying home from school or work is the easiest way to stop it from spreading.
When treating bacterial conjunctivitis it is important to have it properly diagnosed by a doctor or optometrist who can then prescribe antibiotics. Treatment may be in the form of eye drops or ointments, but some bacterial infections require oral medication. To avoid reinfection or to keep it from spreading through the household, be sure to wash all sheets, blankets, or towels that may have made contact with the eyes.
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|Tuesday:||8:00 AM - 8:00 PM|
|Wednesday:||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
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|Saturday:||Closed, but we’d be happy to see you at Stonebridge Eyecare, Broadway Eyecare, or Brighton Eyecare!|