Pink Eye Tips and Prevention
What is one of the most common eye problem out there? An eye expert would definitely mention pinkeye or conjunctivitis. It's normally not a serious problem though, and a quick and early visit to the eye doctor should solve it with no long-term effect.
What is conjunctivitis?
Eye conjunctivitis is one of the many types of eye infection. It's an inflammation of the conjunctiva or the thin lining over the whites of the eye and the insides of the eye. The swollen blood vessels is what causes red eyes effect. It's very contagious and commonly spreads among schoolchildren.
What Causes Pink Eye?
So what causes conjunctivitis and how do we avoid them? Though it is common, it is also important to see the doctor for proper diagnosis, as the symptoms are similar to other non-contagious eye problems. A simple swab test will confirm the cause, and you'll be given the appropriate prescriptions and treatment:
- Pinkeye caused by viruses won't get better with antibiotics, the only thing you can do is to prevent its spread. Avoid going out for a week, or until your symptoms go away.
- Pinkeye caused by bacterial eye infection needs antibiotics prescription, and you should see improvements within a week of medication.
- Washing off Irritants like dust relieves pinkeye symptoms in a few hours. For acids or alkalines, flush with water and immediately call your doctor.
- If you think allergies triggered your pinkeye symptoms, taking your antihistamines should give some immediate relief. The symptoms should be gone in a few days of continued allergy treatment and avoiding allergens.
What Are the Common Pink Eye Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of pink eye depends on the cause of the infection. It might affect both eyes, but normally it starts in one eye.
Some of the common signs of pink eye are swollen eyelid, redness, teary eyes, itchy and burning sensation, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. However, you should contact your eye doctor the soonest if you have the following :
- Yellow, green or white crusty eye discharge, especially upon waking up. This is a symptom of bacterial conjunctivitis and should be treated properly.
- Light sensitivity and blurred vision are normal symptoms of pink eye, but if bright light gives you extreme pain or your eyesight is really affected,it's time to seek proper pink eye treatment.
- Pink eye in infants are dangerous and may cause blindness, so call your ophthalmologist immediately for treatment.
Is Pink Eye Contagious?
If you have it, you'd be asking yourself how long is pink eye contagious? It's best to stay indoors and practice good hygiene to avoid the spread of the pinkeye until all the symptoms are gone. Depending on the cause, treatment and prescriptions taken, symptoms should go away within one week. And just for good measure, note that the incubation period for pink eye is two weeks.
How to Treat Eye Infection
Most cases of pink eye just runs its natural course and should heal by itself even without medical treatment. Except for bacterial conjunctivitis which can cause serious if not permanent eye damage or blindness if left untreated.
There natural remedies for pink eye that you can do right in your own home. And it's mainly alleviating the symptoms, keeping it clean and practicing good hygiene to avoid it spreading, especially for the viral pink eye.
The cure for pink eye is as simple as preventing its spreading. It's so contagious that it usually starts in one eye, and then the other eye gets affected as well. To avoid or lower this risk, it's good to remember these basic hygiene reminders:
- Keep the infected eye clean of any discharge. Wash with warm water and wipe with fresh cotton or paper towel.
- Immediately sterilize or wash any material like linens, pillowcases and towels that came into contact with your eyes or face. Dispose properly any cotton or paper towel used.
- Never share any eye drops and eye wear like glasses, contact lenses, makeup, and even eyewear cases. Practice proper use of eye drops for pink eye and never use on an uninfected eye to avoid contamination.
- Over the counter "artificial tears" eyedrops are normally alright to relieve some of the symptoms like itching and burning. But it is always best to ask your doctor for the proper pink eye medicine.
- Always wash and keep your hands clean with soap and warm water, especially after treating your pink eye. Avoid touching or rubbing your infected eyes.
- Another natural cure for pink eye pain is applying warm compress. Soak a clean towel or cloth in warm water, wring out excess water and apply on infected eye.
Cataracts and Conjunctivitis
As with any eye infection, you should finish your conjunctivitis treatment before you undergo cataract surgery to avoid complications.
But if you already had cataract surgery, it will not damage your Intraocular Lens (IOL) implants as the common pink eye usually affects only the eye wall.
Hopefully, these information can help you deal with your pink eye.