What is Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation or infection of the outer membrane (conjunctiva) of the eyeball.
The most common symptoms of pink eye include:
- Red or pink eyes
- Gritty feeling in eyes
- Itching of the eyes
- Tearing up
- Fluid discharge from the eyes
Pink eye is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Most of the time, it’s caused by the same type of bacteria as strep throat or staph infections, or the same virus as the common cold.
Pink eye caused by infection is highly contagious. It’s commonly spread when an someone comes in contact with the eye fluid discharge of an infected person, then touching or rubbing their own eyes.
Other causes of pink eye are allergies, and chemical exposure such as accidental splashes, or chlorine from a swimming pool.
Treatment depends on the cause of pink eye.
Pink eye caused by viral infection can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or medication. For bacterial pink eye, like with the common cold, the only treatment method is waiting.
In cases of allergies or chemical exposure, allergy medications and anti-inflammatory eye drops are common treatment methods.
When to See a Medical Doctor
If you have symptoms of pink eye, and the symptoms don’t begin to get better withing 12 to 24 hours, speak to a doctor. They can properly asses the cause, and determine the best treatment methods for your pink eye.