Pink Eye Problems: Signs and Treatment
One of the world’s most common eye conditions is pink eye. Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is also one of the most treatable eye conditions. Adults and children alike can contract pink eye, but it is more commonly associated with little ones as they often touch everything around them and then touch their faces immediately after.
While you may not be able to stop your child from picking up a case of pink eye from school or the park, you can prevent it from spreading to the rest of your family. Let’s take a look at the common symptoms of pink eye and the steps you need to take to contain and treat the condition.
Pink eye is the inflammation of the thin, clear tissue that lines the white part of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid. This inflammation makes the blood vessels in the eye more visible, endowing the eye with a pink or reddish color and giving the condition its colloquial name. Symptoms of pink eye may vary, but they typically include:
- Redness and/or swelling of the white of the eye or inside of the eyelid
- Discharge from the eye that appears yellow, white, green, or clear
- A gritty feeling in the eye
- An increased amount of tears
- A feeling of itchiness, irritation, and/or burning in the eye
- Eyelids or lashes that are crusting
- Contact lenses that are not staying in place on the eye or feeling uncomfortable
There are several different causes of pink eye, including viruses, bacteria, allergens, and irritants that infect or irritate the eye and lining of the eyelid. No matter the exact cause, the symptoms of pink eye will usually be the same.
Although it is uncomfortable, pink eye will usually go away on its own and you can relieve symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops. One of the biggest dangers of pink eye is that it is very contagious when a virus or bacteria causes it. Pink eye can easily and quickly spread from one eye to the other and from person to person. If someone in your family has pink eye, make sure that everyone in the home washes their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. All family members should also avoid touching or rubbing their eyes and should refrain from sharing makeup, eyeglasses, or contact lenses and containers.
You may need to seek medical help at an urgent care clinic if your symptoms progress beyond those listed above. If you experience moderate to severe pain or intense redness in your eyes, blurred vision, or symptoms that get worse after 24 hours of using eye drops, you should get medical help.
Anyone with a weakened immune system or pre-existing eye condition should go to an urgent care clinic for medical help as soon as they notice symptoms of pink eye. Parents with infants or newborns should also see a healthcare provider immediately if they spot signs of pink eye in their baby.