Conjunctivitis or pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye.
There are three different types of conjunctivitis or pink eye: viral conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis and allergic conjunctivitis. It is important to see an eye doctor to determine if you pink eye is viral, bacterial or allergic so that it can be treated appropriately.
- Mild eyelid swelling
- Redness in the white of the eye (conjunctiva) or the inner eyelid Increased tearing, mucous or pus production
- Eye irritation
- Foreign body sensation Itchiness of the eye
- Mild blurred vision due to mucus or pus
- Crusting of eyelashes in the morning, possibly gluing the eyes shut
Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious and can last up to two weeks and then will typically disappear on its own. Severe cases can benefit from anti-inflammatory drops that should only be prescribed by an ophthalmologist. With bacterial conjunctivitis, your eye doctor will typically prescribe antibiotic eye drops to treat the infections. This is a highly contagious form of pink eye and usually causes a rd eye with a lot of pus. Patients with allergic conjunctivitis can benefit from allergy eye drops, artificial tears or cool compresses to the affected eye. This type of pink eye is not contagious and is caused by the body’s reaction to an allergen or irritant.
According to geteyesmart.org, practicing good hygiene can help prevent the spread of infectious conjunctivitis. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes with your hands
- Avoid reusing towels, washcloths, handkerchiefs and tissues to wipe your face and eyes
- Change your pillowcase frequently
- Replace your eye cosmetics regularly with new ones, and do not share them with other people
- Always clean your contact lenses properly. In the case of disposable contacts, follow the instructions on the box and dispose when advised.
If you are experiencing signs of pink eye, call 808-735-1935 to make an appointment with EyeSight Hawaii today!