Pink eye or eye cold involves inflammation or infection of the membrane that lines the eyelids. The inflammation can trigger the blood vessels in the eye to become prominent which provides the whites of the eye with a pinkish color.
There are various factors that can trigger pink eye, usually a viral or bacterial infection or even an allergic reaction. Depending on the exact cause of an infection, antibiotics are prescribed. In some cases, over-the-counter medications along with proper self-care measures can provide relief.
How to manage bacteria conjunctivitis
If the pink eye is due to bacteria, it is also called bacterial conjunctivitis that can affect one or both eyes. It is important to note that the infection often generate a dense, yellowish discharge and can be linked with a sore throat or respiratory infection.
Antibiotics are often given for bacterial conjunctivitis as an eye drop or as ointment for children. Both forms of antibiotics work rapidly and symptoms are expected to improve within a few days. The full course of antibiotics must be used to minimize any recurrence.
Treatment for pink eye due to viral causes
Just like with the bacterial form, pink eye caused by a virus can affect one or both eyes and often linked with a cold. Nevertheless, the drainage is watery or has a mucus-like consistency.
Since viral pink eye does not respond to antibiotics, an over-the-counter approach can be utilized to minimize the symptoms, but will not deal with the infection. The infection should be allowed to run its course which often worsens in 3-5 days before eventually clearing up. Take note that the infection can last for several weeks before the individual completely recovers.
Treatment for allergy-triggered pink eye
Pink eye can be linked to allergies. The treatment for this type of pink eye typically includes various eye drops. There are prescription eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis which includes antihistamines, decongestants, anti-inflammatory and even steroids.
Considerations to bear in mind
Regardless of the exact cause of pink eye, the symptoms can be relieved using self-care measures. It is best to apply a warm compress over the affected eye using a clean damp towel or cloth.
As for an allergy-related issue, you can use a cold compress. Just remember to instruct the individual to avoid rubbing the affected eye since it will only trigger the release of more histamine.
Both bacterial and viral cases of pink eye are highly contagious, thus it is essential to seek immediate treatment. Additionally, touching or rubbing the eyes can spread the infection from one eye to another or to other individuals. Women must avoid wearing make-up while the infection is still present and discard any old make-up to minimize the risk for re-infection in the future.