Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an infection easy to spot and — in some cases — highly contagious to the touch. Pink eye symptoms include tearing, redness, and inflammation. Take notice that these symptoms are not always exclusively caused by an eye infection.
What is Pink Eye?
Pink eye is an inflammation caused by an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane which lines the eyes and the inner part of the lids. Patients with a pink eye present a noticeable and constant redness in the white part of the eye.
Types of Pink Eye
Causes of acquiring conjunctivitis vary according to the individual and circumstances. Pink eye classifies as infectious or noninfectious.
- Allergic. Particularly common in kids. This pink eye type happens when triggered by an allergic reaction. Most common agents are pollen, dust, or animal dander.
- Irritant. Depending on the individual, eyes can be more sensitive to the exposure of certain products. Some irritation agents are chemicals contained in shampoos or soaps, eye drops, or air pollution.
- Bacterial. Children and adults are susceptible to conjunctivitis due to a bacterial infection, for example, strep throat.
- Viral. Patients can get a pink eye as a secondary symptom of a respiratory infection, including the common cold.
- Parasites. Some parasites can cause conjunctivitis. Common scenarios in which people can catch them are in dirty swimming pools or hot tubs.
- Sexually Transmitted. Giving birth while having a sexually transmitted disease — like chlamydia, herpes, or gonorrhea — can cause pink eye on the newborn.
How Does it Spread?
Since conjunctivitis is a contagious illness, it is important to take preventive measurements. Conjunctivitis is acquired when having direct contact with body fluids and potentially infected items, like pillowcases or towels.
Hygiene is key to avoid spreading the infection at home. We recommend to keep items clean and frequently wash your child’s hands.
How to Spot Conjunctivitis
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a medical condition that causes discomfort to patients because of symptoms like eye tearing and inflammation. This illness does not represent a life treating condition if treated at an adequate time with a proper diagnosis.
Timing is essential to diagnose and have an optimal recovery. Here are some symptoms to spot a pink eye:
Pink Eye Symptoms
- Itchiness. Patients experience an itchy sensation in the eyes. Scratching is tempting but better to be avoided in order to not spread the infection.
- Tearing. Fluid discharge, such as pus or liquid coming from the eyes. This causes a sticky feeling on the eyelids.
- Redness. The white area of the eye looks red because of inflammation in the eye’s blood vessels.
- Swollen Lids. Minor swollen eyelids appearance.
Pink Eye Treatment
Treatment varies according to each diagnosis:
- Antibiotics. The prescription of antibiotics is for pink eye conditions caused by bacterial or parasitic infections.
- Time & Hygiene. For conjunctivitis caused by viruses, antibiotics will not help. A hygienic routine, as well as avoiding the irritants or allergens, will eventually cure the illness.
Conjunctivitis related symptoms amount to 1% of overall patients that require attention at primary care centers in the US. Pink eye is an unpleasant, yet common condition among children. It is important to reach medical professionals that will provide an adequate diagnosis.
Here at Bass Urgent Care, we treat your health as our main priority. Reach out to us to get the best medical attention at our urgent care facilities. No appointment needed!