Pink eye or conjunctivitis is one of the most prevalent diseases of the eye. Although it is commonly associated with childhood, pink eye can also occur in adults. Pink eye is highly manageable, especially with the help of the expert team at Beach Eye Medical Group in Irvine and Huntington Beach, California. Our eye care professionals have helped hundreds of patients safely treat this eye infection.
As part of Beach Eye Medical Group’s campaign to promote eye health by educating the community, here are common questions and tips regarding pink eye:
What is pink eye?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines conjunctivitis as “inflammation of the conjunctiva.” The conjunctiva is the clear tissue that lines the inner eyelids as well as the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be further classified depending on the primary cause of inflammation: viral, bacterial and allergic.
How did I get pink eye?
Viral and bacterial pink eye are both highly contagious, but rarely dangerous. They are spread through direct contact with an infected person (such as shaking hands) or after touching an object that has been in direct contact with someone with viral or bacterial pink eye. In some cases, transmission can still happen even after symptoms have subsided.
My eyes are irritable and sensitive to light. Is that normal?
Yes. Irritability and light sensitivity are commonly experienced by patients with pink eye. Other symptoms include:
- Blurring of vision due to increased secretions
- Eye discharge
What do I do now that I have pink eye?
Your doctor may prescribe some antibiotic drops (for bacterial conjunctivitis) or anti-inflammatory drops to help reduce the irritation. Viral conjunctivitis goes away on its own. If you have pink eye, no matter how itchy, try to avoid touching your eyes. You can also try covering your eyes with a wet washcloth to make you feel more comfortable. If you wear contact lenses on a daily basis, switch to wearing your glasses for the remainder of the treatment. In addition, it is best not to wear eye make-up as it can further irritate the eye.
How long does pink eye last?
Symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 weeks. You may be advised to take a leave from work or school, especially for the first few days in order to prevent the spread of infection.
How do I prevent pink eye?
Overall, the best way to prevent the spread of pink eye is to practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water. Sharing personal items such as towels and pillows should also be avoided while the conjunctivitis is being treated.
When preventing the spread of pink eye, quick assessment is key. If someone close to you is having similar symptoms, advise them to make an appointment at Beach Eye Medical Group Clinic immediately to prevent the spread of the infection. We are located in Irvine and Huntington Beach, California – do not hesitate to give us a call!