Pink Eye – What to Do
Conjunctivitis, better know as pink eye is uncomfortable, not to mention, very contagious. Pink eye is characterized by a red, pinkish color affecting the whitish portions of the eye. The condition is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelid) and is caused by a virus, allergies, and sometimes bacteria.
Unfortunately, pink eye is easily spread by human touch, sharing of make-up, pillows, or other personal items.
By simply rubbing the eye unintentionally after exposure, the virus can be transferred and affect one or both eyes. Pink eye can last up to several weeks depending upon the severity. The key to preventing pink eye is through the use of sanitary habits, such as frequent hand washing.
Symptoms of Pink Eye: Contracting a case of pink eye may come about gradually or all at once. It could feel as simple as a mild itch at first and then continue to become much more bothersome. The condition can also be made worse by rubbing. It can also affect one or both eyes. The hallmark symptoms of pink eye include:
• Itchiness • Redness • Weepy eyes • Swollen eyelid • Pain and discomfort • Feeling like there is a foreign object in the eye • Crustiness around eyes from discharge
Treating Pink Eye: In simple cases of viral-caused pink eye, medical experts advise that it will normally resolve on its own. Best practices for home treatment include:
• Washing hands and affected bedding frequently • OTC Antihistamines can be helpful • Cold compresses applied to the infected area for short intervals
When to Seek Advanced Treatment In some cases of conjunctivitis, such as those that are bacteria-caused, it may be necessary to consult a physician. It is especially recommended that those with compromised immune systems or existing eye complications consult a doctor. Additional signs of the need for advanced treatment may be the worsening in severity or if discharge increases.
Other symptoms may be exaggerated pain and discomfort, or worsening vision, sensitivity to light, and any burning sensations. Based on the diagnosis, a doctor could prescribe an advanced treatment option such as antibiotic eye drops to be placed into the affected eye.
Good eye hygiene is important when treating pink eye. Keep the area clean and clear and avoid eye-straining activity. Avoid inserting anything into the eye such as contacts to avoid further irritation. This may be a good time to rest, stay indoors, and away from possible allergens as well. During this time using protective eyewear may help reduce sun-sensitivity. However, be extra vigilant about wiping clean sunglasses or any kind of eyewear before use. For any questions on OTC eye product the advice of a physician is recommended.