It’s an ailment that can cause parents to shiver in fear when their child comes home with it, but luckily, pink eye is highly treatable.
Pink eye, medically called conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and treatable conditions among children and adults. It is an infection of the conjunctiva, or the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball.
The condition can be found in a variety of places. Many times, the condition is found on high school or college campuses, or other places where a high number of people operate in very close quarters.
There are three ways an individual can contract pink eye:
Virally- Conjunctivitis can be spread through a variety of viruses and causes, including an upper respiratory tract infection, a sinus infection, or a sore throat. Those infected with viral conjunctivitis contract it in one eye, and it may take days to spread it into the second eye. Viral conjunctivitis is easily spreadable among people and can cause epidemics. However, it is also easily cured within 7-14 days without any long-term effect.
Bacterial- Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when certain bacteria infects the eye. This is the most common form of conjunctivitis among children and is the leading cause for them being absent from school. Bacterial conjunctivitis is mild, with symptoms lasting 2-3 days or 2-3 weeks. Symptoms can improve within 2 to 5 days.
Through an Allergic Reaction- Sometimes, pink eye can be caused by the body's allergic reaction to different substances or items within nature, like pollen from trees, plants, grasses, weeds, and molds, and also from contact lens solution. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs in both eyes, and can occur seasonally, as well as year-round because of indoor allergies. Sometimes, allergic conjunctivitis can happen because a person wearing contact lenses does not clean them, or wears them for an extended period of time.
Many symptoms of pink eye are easily contained without treatment, but you should seek medical attention if symptoms persist. Common symptoms of pink eye include:
• White, yellow or green discharge from the eyes
• Gritty feeling in the eye
• Sensitivity to light
• Crusting of the eyelids
• Redness or swelling of the white of the eye
• Itchy eyes
• Blurred vision
How to Prevent Pink Eye
There are a variety of steps you can take to prevent pink eye, especially if someone around you has the symptoms of viral conjunctivitis present. You can:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water
• Clean your eyeglasses frequently
• Avoid sharing articles like towels, blankets, or clothing
• Do not share makeup, glass cleaner, eye glasses or contact lenses
• If you have conjunctivitis, wash around the eyes several times a day
If your conjunctivitis symptoms do not improve, you should seek medical treatment. One common form of medical treatment is Moxeza, a quinoline antibiotic eye drop used to treat eye infection. Side effects of Moxeza include irritation, dryness, or redness of the eye.