What is Pink Eye or Conjuctivitis

If you suspect you have pink eye (conjunctivitis) call Bettner Vision today to schedule an appointment and get treatment

Eye Emergencies: Pick/Red Eye

You’ve probably had pinkeye before: it’s very common, and the same as conjunctivitis. When your conjunctiva, the thin, clear membrane surrounding the eye (also called the sclera) becomes infected, the blood vessels within the conjunctiva get swollen or irritated. When one or both of you eyes become visibly red, that’s a telltale sign you have pink eye.

Although your eye may be significantly red, are you still wondering if you have it? Do you have watery discharge? Do your eyes feel gritty? Those are symptoms of viral pinkeye, which lasts for 3-5 days, and can be treated with over-the-counter eye drops. If you notice thick, yellow/green discharge, and your eyes are crusted when you wake up, it’s likely that you have bacterial pink eye. After you see your eye doctor, this can be treated with antibiotics, and hopefully heal within two weeks.

A respiratory virus, adenovirus, often causes viral pink eye, and you’ll notice a sore throat (if you haven’t already). With pinkeye, the mucus membranes that line the eye are usually clear, yet they become pink with irritation or infection. Along with viruses, bacteria can also cause pinkeye. You can get dry eyes from exposure to the wind, and pinkeye can also be related to allergies, or exposure to chemicals or smoke. Pinkeye is also very contagious. If you don’t wash your hands frequently, the illness can easily be spread to other people.

If you do become infected with pinkeye, wash your hands regularly. Do not wear contact lenses until you heal. Also, do not use or share eye makeup, throw away your old makeup, and get new makeup. To prevent a further spread, do not share towels, pillows, and washcloths. Wash these washcloths after you use them once. Apply a cold, wet washcloth to the affected eye(s) multiple times a day to provide some relief (and make sure to wash it after!). Antibacterial drops prescribed by your eye doctor can cure bacterial pinkeye. If not treated, these can lead to more serious eye problems. At only the slightest indication that you have it,  719-282-0400 call Bettner Vision to schedule an appointment.

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