Problems with the eye can greatly impact your ability to work, drive, or run your household, and if you or a family member are experiencing swelling around the eye with discharge, chances are that you may have conjunctivitis. More commonly known as “pink eye”, this is a highly contagious infection caused by either bacteria or viruses that doesn’t cause a lot of pain or problems, but needs to be treated to limit its transfer to other people.
What to Look For
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pink eye so you can get the treatment you need right away. A gritty feeling like you have sand or dirt in your eyes is very common, and when this is accompanied by discharge that makes your eyelashes stick together in the morning, sensitivity to light, and redness of the white of your eye all point to a diagnosis of pink eye. Anytime you have blurry vision due to a yellow or white discharge, you also need to consider that you may have pink eye. The best way to find out for sure is to visit your doctor, as they will be able to give you an exact diagnosis.
Types of Pink Eye
If you are diagnosed with pink eye, you may either have infectious or non-infectious conjunctivitis. If you have infections conjunctivitis, it is either caused by bacteria or a virus. This type can easily be spread from one person to another if you have physical contact or share cosmetics. Viral conjunctivitis may also cause a sore throat and even a fever, signs that you need to get medical care right away. Non-infectious conjunctivitis is usually caused by either allergies or pollutants in the air or water such as chlorine or dust and will not be treated by medication.
After your doctor has diagnosed you as having pink eye, they will come up with a treatment plan to treat your problem. This will mainly focus on relieving the symptoms and making you move comfortable, as most cases of pink eye can’t be treated by antibiotics. You will have to stop wearing contact lenses and keep your eyelids clean. Using warm or cold compresses throughout the day will help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort that you feel.
One of the main problems with pink eye is how highly contagious it is, which is why you need to get a diagnosis right away if you suspect that you have conjunctivitis. Talking to a doctor is the best way to figure out what you need to do to treat your medical problem and to help you keep from spreading it to your family members or co-workers. Children who have been diagnosed with pink eye typically have to stay out of school for a while until they are better so that they do not infect the entire class.