Pink eye is a common eye condition that easily spreads. It oftentimes necessitates medical treatment depending on the exact cause. Luckily, the condition can be treated in both children and adults.
Pink eye involves the inflammation of the conjunctiva or thin, transparent tissue that lines the interior of the eyelid and white region of the eyeball. Remember that this inflammation causes the blood vessels to be more visible and gives the eye a pinkish or reddish color.
Possible causes of pink eye
In some cases, it can be hard to pinpoint the specific reason for pink eye since some of the indications might be same regardless of the cause.
The signs and symptoms of pink eye tends to vary on the exact cause but typically include:
- Increased tear production
- Redness or swelling of the white part of the eye within the eyelids
- White, yellowish or greenish drainage from the eye
- Gritty sensation in the eye
- Itchy, burning and/or irritated eyes
- Increased light sensitivity
- Crusting of the lashes or eyelids
When to consult a doctor
In most cases, pinkeye is relatively mild and settle on its own, even without requiring treatment. Nevertheless, there are instances in which a doctor must be seen for specific treatment. A doctor must be consulted if pink eye is accompanied by the following:
- Intense redness in the eye
- Moderate or severe eye pain
- Light sensitivity or blurred vision
- Individual has a weakened immune system
- Individual has current eye conditions that puts him/her at risk for complications or severe infection
- Symptoms worsen or do not improve especially bacterial pink eye that does not settle after 24 hours of using antibiotics.
Pink eye triggered by bacteria or virus is highly contagious and rapidly spreads from one individual to another. If brought about by irritants or allergens, the condition is not contagious but it is likely to end up with a secondary infection caused by a virus or bacteria that is communicable. The risk can be reduced with self-care measures such as:
- Regular washing of hands
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eyes
- Avoid sharing face and eye makeup, contact lenses, makeup brushes and containers as well as eyeglasses.