Do I have pink eye?
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
Pink eyes’ name comes from the tell-tale redness that typically covers the entire eye making it look pink from a distance. Excessive tearing, yellow discharge, itchiness, inability to blink without pain, runny nose, and general discomfort of the eye are all other symptoms associated with pink eye.
Symptoms of pink eye can progress very quickly and is usually highly contagious. It is important to see an eye doctor right away if you think you have it. Many people do a poor job of containing the infection, making it easy to spread it amongst family, friends, and coworkers. Though tempting to rub your eyes when they hurt, do not do this with your exposed fingers. If necessary, use a tissue and dispose of it immediately to avoid spreading the infection.
What are the different types of conjunctivitis?
Bacterial conjunctivitis is the most common type of pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis happens when bacteria is introduced into the microscopic crevices on the front of the eye. Acute infection occurs when the saturation levels are beyond the normal eye flushing mechanisms such as tears and blinking or when the strain of bacteria can withstand the eye’s immune system. In short, it is most commonly caused from touching your eye with dirty hands. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be extremely dangerous if left untreated as the infection can penetrate its way deeper into the tissue of the eye. The most common treatment for this form of pink eye is an antibacterial drop or ointment.
Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a similar virus to the common cold. This variant is highly contagious and is often misdiagnosed as bacterial conjunctivitis. Many people suffering from viral conjunctivitis go to a walk-in clinic where they simply aren’t equipped with the proper diagnosing tools. In some cases, patients are prescribed antibiotic drops or ointment which makes the virus more aggressive and worsens the symptoms. Viral conjunctivitis will often run its course with no treatment. In some cases, a doctor can prescribe a steroid drop to help ward off the infection.
Allergic conjunctivitis is unique in that it is not contagious, has less severe symptoms, and will always be present in both eyes at the same time. Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by common allergies such as pollen or pet dander. Similar to the thin lining of one’s nose being inflamed with allergies, the same will happen to the thin membrane layer surrounding the outside of the eye. Depending on the severity of the condition, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops specially formulated to combat allergies.
e you are seen in a timely manner.
What causes pink eye?
Another huge cause of conjunctivitis is improper cleaning, and overuse of contact lenses. Many contact lens patients are not thorough enough when cleaning, storing, disinfecting, and disposing of their soft contact lenses. All it takes is a single microscopic bacteria or virus to be left behind on a contact lens. Insertion and subsequent wear of that infected contact lens can send the risk of pink eye skyrocketing.
How sure are you that your contact lenses are clean? Daily disposable contact lens patients have almost no risk of this type of complication as their lenses are disposed of every day and a new lens is used in the morning. Ask your eye doctor if daily disposable contact lenses are a good option for you.