Your eyes are precious organs working effortlessly to complete all the chores. It is essential to keep your eyes healthy and infection-free. They are the most sensitive of all sense organs, making them susceptible to various infections or illnesses. Pink eye is a common eye illness that affects both children and adults. It is caused by allergens and irritants, germs, and viruses, including the common cold virus and coronavirus. Treatment varies according to its cause and may include eye drops, ointments, medications, water flushes, cold compresses, and artificial tears. If you or your loved one has pink eye, do not worry.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation (redness) of the conjunctiva. This transparent tissue borders the inside surface of your eyelid and the outer layer of your eye. This tissue keeps your eyelids and eyes moist. The virus can affect both eyes or a single eye at a time.
Pink eye occurs when the blood vessels in the membrane covering your eye (the conjunctiva) become irritated, making them more noticeable. This inflammation is brought on by:
Pink eye symptoms include:
An ophthalmologist or pediatrician will examine the eye by conducting an acuity test (eye chart test) to determine whether your eye vision has been compromised. Pink eye is generally diagnosed based on symptoms and medical history. Other tests are rarely requested. If bacteria are suspected to be the source of the illness, or if the infection is severe, your healthcare practitioner may send a sample (cotton swab) of the fluids surrounding your eye to a lab to identify the exact organism.
The treatment of pink eye depends on the causative factors such as:
If a bacteria has caused pink eye, you will most likely be prescribed antibiotic medication (eye drops, ointments, or pills). Within a week, the infection should clear up. Even if your symptoms go away, continue to take the medication as directed by your healthcare professional.
Antibiotics are not used to cure pink eye caused by virus infection. If you're suffering from this sort of pink eye, which may last anywhere from four to seven days, you'll need to let it run its course, which can take up to fourteen days. Applying a cold compress might help ease discomfort during the day.
If your eyes get itchy after ingesting a chemical (shampoos, certain cosmetics, or any other chemical), rinse them for five minutes with a moderate stream of warm water. Avoid additional contact with the aggravating chemicals. Within four hours of cleaning your eyes, they should start to improve. If not, contact your doctor.
OTC (over-the-counter) eye drops containing antihistamines to suppress allergic responses or anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids or decongestants are used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. You can temporarily reduce symptoms by putting a cold compress on closed eyes or avoiding the allergens that are causing your symptoms permanently.
Pink eye is caused less frequently by parasites that cause sexually transmitted illnesses. Hand-to-eye transfer of sexual secretions causes this route of infection. Inform your doctor if you believe you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pink eye, whereas antiviral medicines treat viral pink eye.
If newborns are delivered vaginally by mothers who have sexually transmitted diseases, they may get a severe form of conjunctivitis. During the birth procedure, the infant picks up the germs. The bacterium can cause blindness. To help avoid this eye infection, it is common practice in hospitals to administer an antibiotic ointment to the eyes of every baby.
Pink eye can also be caused by autoimmune illnesses, which occur when your immune system overreacts. Get immediate medical assistance if you have a family history of autoimmune illness or any cause to suspect it.
Mild instances of the pink eye typically do not require treatment and resolve by themselves in a few days (for bacterial infections) to two weeks (for viral infections). Pink eye produced by a virus does not necessitate treatment unless caused by the herpes simplex virus, chickenpox/shingles, or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases.) An antiviral drug may be administered in these circumstances. Antibiotics for bacterial pink eye shorten the duration of your symptoms and the time you are contagious.
Suppose you or your baby has bacterial or viral pink eye. The doctor may advise you to avoid going to work, school, or day-care until you are no longer contagious. Consult your doctor to determine how long that may be. If you've been taking antibiotics for twenty-four hours or no longer have symptoms, you're less likely to transfer the illness.
Maintaining good general hygiene and eye care habits can also aid in preventing pink eye. Among these practices are:
Because many occurrences of pink eye are minor, you may usually get away with treating symptoms at home until the problem clears up. "Artificial tears" eye drops may help reduce itching and burning caused by irritants.
Other treatments to cure pink eye (conjunctivitis) symptoms include:
Pink eye is highly infectious, whether caused by a bacterial or viral illness. The good news is that it is typically not a life-threatening condition. Depending on your disease severity, you or your child can return to day-care, school, or job as soon as the infection clears, which might take a few days to one to two weeks. Suppose you have pink eye due to allergies. In that case, it is not contagious, and you can resume regular activities anytime.
The majority of mild to moderate pink eye symptoms resolve on their own without treatment. Treatment is frequently required if pink eye is severe, as it can decrease the time you feel symptoms and transmit the infection to others.
Pink eye might return, especially if it is allergy-related. Your eyes may respond every time you come into touch with an allergen (a chemical that causes allergies). You can potentially re-infect yourself if you have bacterial or viral pink eye. Consider the following precautions to avoid contracting another bout of infectious pink eye:
As soon as your symptoms subside, you should be able to return to day-care, school, or job. It might happen as quickly as twenty-four hours following antibiotic therapy for a bacterial illness and two and seven days after a viral infection. Yellowish discharge or crusting on eyelashes or in the corners of the eyes should be absent in you or your child's eyes. Pink should also be removed from the eyes. Check with your healthcare provider and facilities to see when it is safe to return and if there are any particular "return to" criteria. You do not need to stay at home if an allergy causes your pink eye.
Pink eye and stye have a few similar symptoms, such as redness, sensitivity to light, and crusting along the eyelids. These two illnesses, however, are distinct and have distinct causes. A stye is a red, painful lump that occurs on or within the eyelid along the lash line due to inflammation of the eye’s oil glands from allergens. Several microscopic oil glands are on your eyelids, particularly near the eyelashes. These tiny openings can get clogged or blocked due to dead skin, debris, or oil buildup. Bacteria can thrive inside a blocked gland and cause a stye to form.
Whereas, pink eye is caused due to viral or bacterial infection that causes an infection of the lining of the eyelid (the outer coating of the eye). Pink eye does not produce lumps in the eyelid or around the eye. Stye eye treatment includes using a warm compress which helps bring the pus to the surface and aids the pus and oil in dissolving so that the pus can be drained out naturally. In terms of medication, the treatment largely remains the same, such as using OTC eye drops and medicated soaps.
Under-eye bag treatment includes laser resurfacing and chemical fillers. Also, facial peels can help rejuvenate the under-eye region.
The eye is the most sensitive part of the human body, processing millions of sensory inputs and giving us vision. It is vital to take care of your eyes. That’s why WomenWire.com brings you all the required information to keep your eyes healthy and keep them from any infection or illnesses. Pink eye is rarely severe, and the good news is that it is highly curable and preventative. Pink eye can cure on its own without treatment unless it is extreme. Treatment for bacterial or viral pink eye, on the other hand, can reduce the period you or your child will be infectious. Use a cold compress to ease discomfort during recovery.
The best thing you can do is take the required precautions to avoid transmitting the infection to others or contacting it again. However, we recommend you always get in touch with your healthcare practitioner if you have any questions or concerns or in case of severe symptoms.