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Understanding Pink Eye: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

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The dreaded pink eye… That annoying and highly contagious eye condition that turns your eyes into a red, itchy mess. Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is a common eye condition that causes inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva — the thin and transparent membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. It is called pink eye because it often gives the affected eye a pink or red appearance. The good news is that there are several treatment options and preventive measures one can take.

Consult with Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates to learn more about pink eye: its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Pink Eye Causes

Pink eye can be caused by different factors, including viral infections, bacterial infections, allergies, and irritants. Viral conjunctivitis is the most common type and is often associated with the common cold or flu. Bacterial conjunctivitis can occur when bacteria enters the eye, often from unclean hands or contact with contaminated surfaces. Allergic conjunctivitis is triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet hair. Irritant conjunctivitis can result from exposure to smoke, chemicals, or foreign objects in the eye.

Pink Eye Symptoms

The symptoms of pink eye can vary depending on the cause, but common signs and symptoms include redness or pink coloration of the whites of the eyes, an itching or burning sensation, excessive tearing, discharge from the eyes (which can be clear, yellow, or green), swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.

Pink Eye Treatment Options

The treatment for pink eye depends on the cause. Viral conjunctivitis usually resolves on its own within one to two weeks without specific treatment. Applying warm compresses to the affected eye can help relieve discomfort. Bacterial conjunctivitis often requires antibiotic eye drops or ointments prescribed by a healthcare professional. Allergic conjunctivitis can be managed by avoiding allergens, using over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops, or taking oral antihistamines as directed by a doctor. For irritant conjunctivitis, it is important to flush the eye with clean water and remove any foreign objects. Artificial tears may also be used to soothe the eye.

Preventive Measures

To reduce the risk of getting pink eye or spreading it to others, it is important to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your eyes or applying eye drops. Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases, or cosmetics with others. If you wear contact lenses, follow proper hygiene and lens care instructions. Protect your eyes from irritants, such as smoke or chemicals, by using appropriate safety measures like wearing goggles.

When to Seek Professional Help with Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates

While most cases of pink eye can be managed at home, there are instances when it is important to seek professional help. If you have severe pain, significant redness, changes in vision, or if your symptoms worsen after a few days of home care contact Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates.. For infants with symptoms of pink eye, it is always best to consult a pediatrician.

Schedule an appointment with Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates and get expert guidance to enjoy healthy eyes and clear vision.

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