Conjunctivitis, often also referred to as pink eye, is a common ailment that can have various causes. Many symptoms can be alleviated by at-home treatment. However, it is best to see a pink eye doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis and receive medical treatment in the event you need it.
Symptoms and Causes of pink eye
You may have pink eye if you have redness, itchiness, and discharge in one or both eyes. If these symptoms stem from conjunctivitis, they will likely go away in a little over a week.
Conjunctivitis usually results from an allergic reaction or a viral infection. Less commonly, it can stem from a bacterial infection, in which case you may need an eye care specialist to prescribe antibiotics. In addition, some other conditions may cause symptoms similar to conjunctivitis, which is why it is important to see a professional.
There are several simple things you can do to ease the discomfort of pink eye. Throughout all of them, keep in mind that viral and bacterial conjunctivitis spreads very easily, so it is important to use proper hygiene to stop the virus from contaminating your other eye or infecting others in your home or workplace. Avoid touching the affected eye unnecessarily and wash your hands thoroughly after each time.
Washing your pillowcases and towels can alleviate allergic symptoms and keep viruses from spreading. If you use eye makeup, it is a good idea to throw out the package you had open when you started experiencing symptoms.
What to Do About Contact Lenses
Contact lens wearers should not wear lenses until the pink eye symptoms go away completely. Viral or bacterial conjunctivitis can linger on the lenses and potentially your lens case. Change your lens case and ask your eye doctor about the best way to disinfect your lenses if you do not use the daily wear type.
Soothing the Irritation
Over-the-counter eye drops can alleviate the redness and itching. Lubricating drops are generally your best option, while drops claiming to treat redness are not recommended. Applying cold compresses several times a day can also make you feel better.
If your conjunctivitis stems from allergies, your doctor may suggest several types of solutions. You may need a prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications. Eye drops that target allergic reaction can also help with symptoms.
See Your Doctor
A qualified eye care specialist can determine why you are experiencing pink eye symptoms and come up with the right treatment. If you have concerns about your eyes, schedule an appointment with Vision Care Specialists to get the eye care you need.