Pink eye can be caused by an allergic reaction, or by a bacterial or viral infection. The condition which is also known as conjunctivitis is very contagious and is basically the inflammation of the membranes inside the eyelid. You should treat this condition as soon as you can, to stop the spread, and to protect your eyes from any potential long-term damage.
- Crust buildup
- Blurred vision
- Itchiness and redness
Types of Pink Eye
Bacterial – the bacterial infection tends to lead to a more yellow/green discharge. The discharge is thick and the eyelid becomes swollen. It begins in 1 eye and can sometimes make its way to the other.
Viral – The discharge will be watery.
Allergic – Both your eyes will be affected, they will be itchy, red, and have a watery discharge. Both your eyelids may swell and become sore and irritated.
Once you feel like you have pink eye of conjunctivitis, you should visit your doctor to be certain. They can determine what is causing the infection – bacteria, a virus, or an allergy. They can also prescribe you some medication to clear the infection if needed. Sometimes, conjunctivitis will go away by itself.
Rinse your eyes warm or cold water and a washcloth. If you have allergic pink eye, cold water is best. Warm can be better for infection as it helps relieve swelling. You should use a clean washcloth every time as the bacteria can spread very easily. You should also wipe from the inner corner to the outer corner and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
If you have allergic conjunctivitis you can use over the counter eye drops to soothe any irritation. If it is bacterial or viral, however, treatment is different.
Viral – Unfortunately, there are no medications that can cure a virus. You have to let it run its course. It is still contagious though so you should avoid school, work, or college.
Bacterial – Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics that can kill the bacteria in a few days. These can come in the form of eye drops or cream.
If your symptoms get worse rather than better you should return to your doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms of worsening conjunctivitis include;
- worse vision
- increased pain
- more sensitive to light
- worse infection
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