Pink Eye – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

October 4, 20130 Comments

Pink eye is the common name for conjunctivitis which is an eye infection. It is caused by bacteria or virus and sometimes due to allergic reactions. Pink eye can cause itchiness, burning sensation and redness of the membrane covering the eyelids. Usually the condition of pink eye will not affect vision. It is contagious spreading from one person to the other.

Pink eye will resolve automatically within few days or you can get it treated with antivirus drops. The infection caused by bacteria can affect the soft membrane of the eyelid causing swelling making the underlying tiny blood vessels visible. This is the reason for redness or pink color of the eyes.

Symptoms :

Some of the signs of pink eye are itchiness and redness in the affected eye. Individuals affected with this infection will feel as though sand is present in the eye due to consistent irritation and burning of eyes. It causes gritty feeling and most of the times it produces watery discharge. Many people find it difficult to open the eyes in the morning due to formation of white layer of crust on the eyelids. Pink eye is marked by the characteristic pink color or redness of the affected eye which is due to the inflammation of underlying small blood vessels.

Types :

Three major kinds of pink eye is diagnosed based on the cause of infection. Viral conjunctivitis produces itchiness and eyes become very sensitive to the light. It is highly contagious and anyone who inhales the droplets of the affected person while sneezing will get infected.

Bacterial infection produces symptoms like yellow discharge from the affected eye. Many times, the eyelids will stick together due to sticky discharge. It is contagious when comes into direct contact. Allergic type of infection shows signs of watery eyes with burning sensation. It can produce watery discharge along with mucus from the nose for one or two days. But it is not contagious.

Pink Eye Causes :

Pink eye (inflammation of mucous membrane of the eyelids) is caused by bacteria or viral infection. Sometimes it can be caused by exposing the eyes to chemicals and allergy producing substances like pollen grains etc. Presence of foreign objects in the eye can also cause pink eye. Viral infections will usually clear up within couple of days without treatment but infection caused by bacteria needs to be treated by antibiotic eye-drops. Allergic type of infection is caused by dust, pollen and other allergy producing substances like pet dander. In infants the condition of pink eye occurs when the tear ducts are blocked due to heat.

Who are at risk?

Pink eye is contagious and hence if you come in direct contact with infected person you are likely to get infected. When your eyes are exposed to particles that you already have allergy you may develop pink eye. Sometimes, wearing contact lenses for long period can cause infection. In rare cases, pink eye inflammation can cause blurred vision.

Diagnoses :

Your doctor will closely examine your eyes using special instrument to detect how far the infection has spread.

Pink Eye Treatment :

Antibiotic eye drops are given for treating pink eye caused by bacterial infection. You have to be careful in applying eye drops or ointment to the infants or young children since it may cause irritation and blurred vision for few minutes. Usually it will settle down within couple of days or three. If there is severe irritation and water like discharge you can consult your doctor.

In case of conjunctivitis caused by viral infection, no treatment is required. The infection and inflammation may last for 2-3 weeks and will disappear on its own. But it is contagious and hence you have to avoid social contacts until the infection is completely cleared. If the inflammation of lining of eyelids is caused by allergy, then your doctor may prescribe anti-allergic eye drops. Antihistamines are effective in treating allergic reactions on the eyes. You have to avoid allergy causing substances in future to prevent getting infection again.

Pink Eye Home Remedies :

For mild to moderate forms of infection caused by pink eye you can try the following home remedies.

  • Cool Compress :

Use a clean soft wet cloth and apply it gently on the infected eyes. It will produce soothing effect. Some people are comfortable in using warm compression also. Remember pink eye is mostly contagious and hence wash the cloth thoroughly before using it again. If you have infection on only one eye avoid touching the other eye with the same cloth.

  • Eye Drops :

Eye drops can be obtained without prescription for getting relief from irritation and redness. You can ask for eye drops that contain antihistamines for treating allergic form of pink eye.

  • Contact Lens :

Avoid wearing contact lenses once you get infected with pink eye. You can consult your doctor about using it again after the infection is cleared off.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Pink Eye :

Pink Eye Pink Eye Pink Eye Pink Eye Pink Eye

Prevention :

Pink eye infection is contagious and hence you can stay away from persons who are infected. Keep your eyes hygienic. Avoid touching your eyes often since it is the root cause to get allergic infection. In a new place, don’t share towels with unknown persons. Avoid using strong cosmetics on your eyes and do not change the eye cosmetics often, since it can cause allergic reaction causing pink eye. Avoid going to office or workplace until the infection is cured completely.

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