Pink eye happens when the thin, clear tissue over the white part of the eye (conjunctiva) becomes inflamed. It is extremely contagious but is not life-threatening or very serious. It’s common among school-age children due to how contagious it is. AFC Urgent Care Dedham is able to diagnose and provide treatment for all cases of pink eye and other infectious illnesses. Visit us today if you or your loved one have any of the following symptoms.
Signs of Pink Eye
Symptoms of pink eye depend primarily on what causes it. Most cases are mild, and they can include the following symptoms:
- Redness and swelling in the white part of the eye
- Thick, yellow discharge that can crust over eyelashes
- Itchy, burning, or watery eyes
- Blurred vision
It’s essential to keep track of your symptoms throughout the duration of pink eye. If you are experiencing a lot of discharge, you have severe pain when looking into the light, or you are experiencing a fever, it’s important to seek medical attention. Infants should also seek medical attention, as the pink eye can cause vision loss for them. With viral conjunctivitis, symptoms can last between one to three weeks.
Causes & Types of Pink Eye
Pink eye can be caused by a virus, bacteria, irritant, or allergies. Your doctor will ask you a series of questions to help determine the cause of the pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis is typically caused by the same virus that causes the common cold. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by certain STDs and typically is resolved within a week. Conjunctivitis caused by an irritant can usually be cleared up within a few hours, but it’s important to speak with a doctor before attempting to flush out the eye.
Treatment of Pink Eye
To help speed up the recovery process of pink eye, it’s important to maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, and keep your eyes free of any discharge. Be sure to dispose of cotton balls or tissues that touch your eye since the pink eye is so contagious. Change your pillowcase everyday to avoid any cross-contamination or the possibility of infecting your other eye.
Using a warm compress, such as a handtowel, can help loosen any crust that forms over the eyelashes. This is the best way to remove it without hurting yourself. Avoid using eyedrops unless prescribed by a doctor. This can irritate the eye further. Additionally, it’s best to avoid going to work or school until symptoms have cleared up.