Conjunctivitis

What You Need to Know About Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the thin layer of clear tissue over the eye called the conjunctiva. It is the most common type of eye diseases seen at Edmonton optometrist clinics. The good news is that pink eye can quickly be diagnosed with an eye exam, and it is typically easy to treat.


What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye?


Pink eye can affect people in different ways depending on the type and severity of the condition, but there are some typical symptoms to look out for. Some of the most common symptoms of pink eye include:
• Red eyes
• Swollen eyelids
• Watery eyes
• Blurry vision
• Itchy or burning eyes
• Sensitivity to light
• Eye discharge
• Swollen lymph nodes



What Are the Different Types of Pink Eye?


Pink eye is a broad term used to refer to different types of conjunctivitis. An Edmonton optometrist will differentiate pink eye into the four following types:

• Viral conjunctivitis: The most common type of pink eye. Caused by a virus and characterized by watery discharge.
• Bacterial conjunctivitis: Caused by infectious bacteria and characterized by eye discharge.
• Allergic conjunctivitis: A reaction to an allergen in the environment that produces itching, tearing, and other allergy symptoms.
• Irritant or toxic conjunctivitis: A reaction to an irritant such as pollution, toxic chemicals, or dirt and debris.


How is Pink Eye Diagnosed and Treated? 


An Edmonton optometrist can easily diagnose pink eye by asking about your symptoms and performing a visual examination during an eye exam. They may also take a swab in order to determine the exact type of conjunctivitis present.
For bacterial conjunctivitis, your eye doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Viral conjunctivitis, just like the common cold, simply needs to run its course, as antibiotics do not treat viruses. Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis will typically involve antihistamine medication, while treatment for irritant conjunctivitis will focus on cleaning the eye and avoiding the irritant.



Is Pink Eye Contagious? 


Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are both infectious and therefore contagious, as the viruses and bacteria that cause them can spread from one person to another. To avoid passing pink eye on to others, make sure you avoid touching your eyes and wash your hands frequently. Do not share personal items such as towels or pillows with others while you have pink eye.

Infectious pink eye is more common in children because it can spread quickly in daycares and schools. It is best to keep a small child with pink eye at home until the condition clears up.


Optometrist in Edmonton Providing Treatment for Pink Eye

 

Because pink eye can be so contagious, it is recommended that you see an eye doctor in Edmonton when symptoms develop, especially if they are severe. At Optometrists' Clinic Inc., one of our experienced optometrists will perform an eye exam to determine what type of conjunctivitis you have and what the best course of treatment is.


If you or your child are suffering from pink eye, then don't hesitate to contact Optometrists' Clinic Inc. to schedule an appointment with an Edmonton optometrist today.

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