Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” is a common eye condition that often occurs in childhood but can also impact adults. While it is usually considered a relatively minor problem, it may compromise your visual health and comfort if left untreated. In today’s post, your expert optometrist from Alderwood Optical and Canyon Park Vision Clinic explains all about conjunctivitis.
There are three major causes of pink eye: allergic, bacterial, and viral. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when your eyes come into contact with an irritant. Some common trigger allergens are dust, pet dander, plant debris, and other airborne foreign matter. It is a major problem requiring treatment from an optometrist during spring and fall.
Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when bacteria infects your eyes. This may initiate an inflammatory response from your immune system, resulting in eye swelling and redness. Viral conjunctivitis is typically caused by the same virus that causes the common cold.
Signs and Symptoms
Conjunctivitis may cause your eyes to become red, itchy, and swollen. They may also feel watery and sore later on. You may experience a gritty feeling as well, which may affect one or both eyes. In bacterial cases, you may produce discharges too, which may eventually form as crusts over your eyelids.
Our Suggested Management
Conjunctivitis management depends on the type you have (viral, bacterial, or allergic). If you have bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, your optometrist will first try to contain the infection and prevent it from spreading. Second, we aim to reduce the inflammation of your eyes. Third, we want to relieve any visual discomfort you have.
For allergic cases, we suggest avoiding your specific allergen. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory or antihistamine medications. When it comes to managing viral conjunctivitis, we advise applying cool compresses and artificial tears in your eyes to improve your visual comfort. For bacterial pink eye, we may recommend antibiotic eye drops. Remember to complete the whole course.
For more information about pink eye, call us at (425) 771-8472 for Alderwood Optical and (425) 485-0430 for Canyon Park Vision Clinic. We serve Bothell, Lynnwood, and Shoreline, WA.