Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) What is a Pink Eye Infection?
Pink eye, or Conjunctivitis, is a common eye ailment that has affected many of us. It is caused by an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. Pink eye usually is brought about by either bacterial, viral, or numerous allergic factors. Although pink eye is not a serious eye disease, the bacterial causes need to be treated because the symptoms do not go away without proper treatment and this variant of conjunctivitis can be passed on to other people just by coming into contact with the exact, identical items. Conjunctivitis usually looks very bad on first diagnosis as the eye can turn very red but the worst part is usually the irritation and itchiness.
Causes of Pink Eye
Pink eye results in redness, irritation, or inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the clear, thin membrane that covers the white portion of the eyes as well as the inner surface of the eyelids. The conjunctiva usually reacts to bacteria, viruses, allergy causing medium, irritants, or diseases of other parts of the body. Viral Conjunctivitis is induced by viruses that spread from various ailments like colds, sore throats, respiratory infections and others. Bacterial Conjunctivitis is caused by certain bacteria that have made their way to the eye. Examples of bacteria include staphylococci and streptococci. Allergic Conjunctivitis is caused by allergic reactions to distinctive substances such as fumes, cosmetics, drugs, dust mites, air born chemicals, and many others. Conjunctivitis is usually more prone in people who have allergic conditions.
Pink Eye Symptoms
The unique forms of pink eye have comparable indications but each case can have varying degrees of particular symptoms. Some of these symptoms are existent in the different types of pink eye. The obviously noticeable sign is the pink to reddish color covering the eyes which is again due to inflammation of the conjunctiva. Irritation and itchiness are two other symptoms that are often characteristic of conjunctivitis. Tearing is another prevalent symptom as the eyes develop increased tears in order to aid in relief. Some differences among the types of pink eye include discharge that maybe frequent in both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. This discharge maybe yellow or green and can cause the eyelids to stick together or can flow down the sides of the eyes.
Viral Conjunctivitis Symptoms
- Watery eyes accompanied with discharge are usual.
- Discomfort in the eye with itchiness maybe present.
- The infection usually affects one eye but can move to both.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Symptoms
- Watery eyes followed with yellow or green discharge are natural occurrences.
- Irritation can be found along with an itchy feeling.
- The infection usually starts with one eye and can spread to the other.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Symptoms
- Heavy tearing, discomfort, and itchiness affecting both eyes are especially likely.
Is Pink Eye Contagious
Bacterial and viral pink eye is contagious but allergic pink eye is not. It can be hard to tell which type is present but allergic pink eye usually goes away after a shorter amount of time or when the irritating agent is removed and the eyes rinsed out. The infectious types of pink eye are the ones to be wary of because spreading can occur very easily. People can contract pink eye just by touching or using another article that has been infected by a person who has the eye infection. For a simple illustration, a person who has pink eye who has rubbed his eyes and used that hand to open a door or used an object near the eye like eye makeup or eye drops could end up infecting someone else who touches the aforementioned door or uses the same object in their eyes. This is why it is encouraged that people, more often kids, who are diagnosed with pink eye, should stay home until the infection is cured to avoid giving the infection to other people. Some incidents of pink eye in one are spread to the other in the same manner. Other means of passing the infection include sharing daily items like pillowcases, towels, bathroom washcloths, and many others. To answer the question, two versions of pink eye are very contagious.
Pink Eye Treatment and Medication
Pink eye medication can be a mix of prescribed and over the counter medicines. For bacterial infections, a doctor must prescribe pink eye antibiotic to attack the bacteria. This medication can be delivered in varieties like eye drops or ointments that are applied to the eyes for a few days. Pink eye caused by allergies can be solved with allergy eye drops like Patanol. Patanol is one solution that has been proven to be effective in preventing pink eye caused by allergies with just 2 drops a day. It is safe according to the manufacturer for kids over the age of three. Other medication with antihistamines maybe recommended by a physician which can include anything from liquid to pill state. Another Pink eye medication is Similasan Allergy Eye Relief eye drops. These OTC medications may not be as impressive but provide some relief. Similasan also has a pink eye relief eye drops for viral conjunctivitis. Other eye drop companies also manufacture similar eye drops that alleviate Viral Pink eye. These over the counter medications are all that is required for most cases of viral pink eye as the virus just needs to run its course and pink eye medication is used just for soothing symptoms. For relieving discharge, warm compresses are great for removing the sticky residue as well as the crusty, dried portions around the eyes. For persistent problems it is best to consult your eye care professional.
Viral Conjunctivitis Treatment
- Normally this type of conjunctivitis does not require medication except in small children.
- Special pink eye drops can allay inflammation.
- Children should see a specialist for pink eye treatment.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatment
- Antibiotics are needed for this instance of pink eye and are used to fight off the bacteria.
- Antibiotic salves are also options and a warm wash cloth can be used to dissolve the discharge.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Treatment
- Anti-inflammatory medications, Antihistamine medication and anti-allergy eye drops can help relieve symptoms.
Pink Eye - Preventive Measures
Preventing the contamination of pink eye is the best method for both those infected and those nearby infected people. Washing your hands frequently will support the removal of many possible allergic agents or bacteria from getting into the eyes. Not sharing towels, washcloths, napkins, and other wiping items will minimize pink eye outbreaks. Households exposed to pink eye, particularly with kids, should disinfect commonly touched areas like doorknobs, television remotes, computer keyboards, and others. Contact lens wearers should discontinue use and even possibly replace the lenses if infected when wearing them. Ask a doctor if unsure about infected lenses. Another good countermeasure is to avoid sharing other eye touching items, chiefly with someone who is diagnosed with pink eye. These items include eye drops, mascara, goggles, sunglasses, and tons of other products. Prevention is the best way of preventing the development and spread of conjunctivitis and for parents, this means explaining and showing kids how to be careful.
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