Trying to get rid of Pink Eye?

If you woke up with red, swollen eyes or crusty eyelids you may have pink eye, or conjunctivitis. The eye care specialists at ilink optometrists explain all about it.

Pink eye refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva (clear, thin covering of the white of the eye and inside of eyelids) which is also known as Conjunctivitis.

The conjunctiva contains blood vessels which can dilate when inflammation is triggered which will lead to red, bloodshot eyes. Conjunctivitis is a common eye problem which anyone can get, especially school children, college students, preschoolers, daycare workers and teachers. However this condition can easily be treated and can even be prevented or avoided.

Pink Eye

3 Primary types of conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis
• This type of conjunctivitis is very contagious and is caused by a virus
• Clears up on its own without treatment within several days

Viral Pink eye

Symptoms:
• Itchy, watery eyes

• Light sensitivity
• One or both eyes
• Highly contagious (spread by coughing and sneezing)

Treatment:
• No medication in most cases
Cold compresses could relieve symptoms

Allergic conjunctivitis
This type of conjunctivitis may be seasonal or caused by certain irritants
• Pollen, animal dander or dust

Allergic

Symptoms:
• Burning, itchy, watery eyes
• Light sensitivity
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Both eyes
• Not contagious

Treatment:
• Allergy medications – often started before seasonal flare-ups

Bacterial conjunctivitis
This type of conjunctivitis could have serious effects on the eyes if left untreated as this is caused by bacteria.

bacterial pink eye

Symptoms:
• Discharge – sticky, yellow or greenish colour
• Eyelids can stick together because of discharge
• One or both eyes could be affected
• Very contagious via direct contact

Treatment:
• Antibiotic eye drops or ointment

NB: Bacterial can be the cause of a corneal ulcer which can also lead to permanent vision loss.
 
It can be difficult to diagnose the type of conjunctivitis therefore it is very important to see your doctor or optometrists as soon as any symptoms are noticed especially when you have red and irritated eyes.
Other eye conditions which can be associated with conjunctivitis:

• Dry eyes
• Blepharitis
• Other eye infections

How to prevent pink eye
• Make sure to wash your hand on a regular basis
• Keep any form of hand disinfectant close and use it frequently (especially in public places)
• Do not share tissues, towels or washcloths with anyone

Pink eye

Contact lens wearers:
• Follow the cleaning instructions closely
• Use the proper solutions
• Do not wash the lenses with water
• Replace the lenses as prescribed
• Do not sleep with the lenses on the eyes
• Change to daily disposables if there are difficulties with infections
• Do not share your contact lenses with other people
• Always remove the contact lenses before showering, swimming or any water activity
• Make use of swim goggles to protect the eyes against the bacteria and microorganisms
• Try to avoid touching to eyes
• Always cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
• Keep working surfaces clean especially
• Any door handles
• Bathroom vanities
• Phones shared in the office environment
• Countertops (desks and kitchens)

If you know you struggle with the seasonal allergies caused by pollen, ask your doctor for preventative medication.