Pink eye: Is it debilitating?

Pink eye is quite common among children but can still affect adults. Remember that this condition is highly contagious and you have to be familiar on how to prevent acquiring one and how it is treated.

Close look on pink eye

Pink eye or conjunctivitis involves swelling and inflammation of the thin exterior layer of the eye. The most prevalent form of pink eye is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection. The symptoms typically start within 24 hours of exposure. In some cases, allergies or even irritation to the eye due to soap can cause it as well.

Indications

  • Redness around the eyes
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation or feeling that there is something inside the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
    Pink eye

    Pink eye or conjunctivitis involves swelling and inflammation of the thin exterior layer of the eye.

  • Increased tearing than usual
  • Blurred vision

Take note that it might take up to 2 weeks for all the symptoms to resolve. Due to its contagious nature, it can affect the other eye. An individual with pink eye is encouraged to wash hands regularly, avoid touching the eyes and utilize paper towels to dry the face after cleansing for easy disposal.

Treatment

Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are not used. The management of the symptoms involves the use of artificial tears and applying a cold compress. Oftentimes, an allergy drop can alleviate some of the itchiness and redness.

It is not recommended to use over-the-counter drops meant to alleviate daily redness. These can worsen the redness after the drops are no longer used and could not even provide relief. Since there is no specific treatment, waiting out until the condition resolves requires patience.

When to seek medical care?

A small percentage of cases of bacterial pink eye requires further assessment by a doctor. In such cases, the doctor will take a swab to determine if it is bacterial or viral. If the cause is bacterial, an antibiotic is usually prescribed, but most cases of pink eye are viral in nature.

Pink eye will not result to any decrease in vision unless there is infection of the cornea that can leave behind scars.

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