What is Pink Eye?

What is Pink Eye?

What is Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an eye infection that can happen in both children and adults, and it’s rather common. It’s caused by inflammation due to things like allergens, irritants, bacteria, and viruses. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which helps to keep your eye & eyelid moist. Pink eye can impact one or both eyes. What is Pink Eye?

What Can Cause Conjunctivitis?

The pinkish or reddish color that makes an appearance during conjunctivitis is caused by inflamed blood vessels in the membrane and they become more visible. Viruses are the most common cause of conjunctivitis. Certain types of bacteria can also cause conjunctivitis. Allergens (such as mold or pollen) and irritants such as shampoos, makeup, contact lenses, dirt, chlorine from pools, and other foreign objects can also cause pink eye.

Conjunctivitis can be easily spread. It can be spread from close contact with another person (such as shaking hands). The transfer of bacteria or a virus allows the germs to go from one place to another, and once you touch your eye with your affected hand or area, pink eye can occur. This also goes for touching contaminated surfaces, then touching your eyes. It may also be transferred from using dirty or shared cosmetics that are contaminated.

Pink eye is contagious and can be easily spread from person to person. Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria can be spread while you are experiencing symptoms as well as up to around 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment. Conjunctivitis caused by a virus can be spread while you have symptoms (and even before symptoms are apparent). However, conjunctivitis from an allergy is not contagious.

How to Tell if You Have Conjunctivitis

There are many symptoms of conjunctivitis. Common symptoms amongst both children and adults are redness in the white of the eye or eyelid, more tearing, and itchy and/or burning eyes. Thick yellow discharge (and other color discharge such as green or white) may crust over the eyelashes and make it challenging to open the eyes after they’ve been closed for a while (particularly after a night of sleep). Pink eye may also cause a gritty feeling in the impacted eye(s). Blurred vision, swollen eyelids, and heightened light sensitivity are also common symptoms of conjunctivitis. If you’re concerned that you or your child has conjunctivitis, it’s important to go to your local ophthalmologist to have the eyes examined and diagnosed.

Conjunctivitis Treatment

Conjunctivitis treatment will be implemented depending on the cause of conjunctivitis. Bacteria-caused conjunctivitis will likely be treated with an antibiotic prescription and it should be improved within around a week. Pink eye caused by a virus often needs to run its course as antibiotics won’t treat pink eye if it’s caused by a virus, however, certain remedies such as doctor-approved artificial tears or a cold compress can help. Your local eye doctor can help you determine the cause of your conjunctivitis and the necessary treatment.

If you suspect you or your child has been impacted by pink eye, contact your local pediatric eye doctor in Plymouth MN. At Insight Vision Care, we will help get you and/or your child back on the path to wellness after being impacted by conjunctivitis. We diagnose and treat eye conditions to help ensure your eyes and vision are as healthy as they can be. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What is Pink Eye?

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