"Pink eye" is a common eye problem typically is easily treated and, with a few simple precautions, can often be avoided.
What is Pink Eye
Pink eye — also called conjunctivitis — is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids called the conjunctiva. Even though the conjunctiva is clear it does contain blood vessels. When the conjunctiva gets inflamed the blood vessels will dilate giving the appearance of a "pink eye".
People who believe they have pink eye should come in and see our doctors.
Types of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Viral conjunctivitis - This type is caused by a virus, like the common cold. This type of pink eye is very contagious, but usually will clear up on its own within several days. Symptoms include watery, itchy eyes, and sensitivity to light. Patients can apply a cold, wet washcloth to the eyes several times a day can relieve symptoms. (Due to the highly contagious nature of this type of pink eye, be sure not to share this washcloth with others!)
Bacterial conjunctivitis - Caused by bacteria, this type of conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated. This type is also very contagious and can spread to both eyes. Symptoms include sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. In some cases, this discharge can be severe enough to cause the eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up. Eye doctors will prescribe an ointment or drops as a treatment.
Allergic conjunctivitis - Caused by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander among susceptible individuals. Can flare up seasonally or year round. This type is not contagious. Symptoms include watery, itchy or burning eyes; also stuffiness and running nose. Allergy medication is the best course of treatment for allergic conjunctivitis.