Almost everyone has had a pink eye infection at least once. Formally known as conjunctivitis, pink eye has multiple causes- some of which are quite contagious. If you have eye discomfort and a visible reddening of your eye and eyelid, a version of conjunctivitis is likely to blame.
Conjunctivitis has several causes, each with their own unique symptoms and treatments. This diversity of causes means that a formalized diagnosis is the best way to ensure a speedy recovery- once we understand the cause of your symptoms, we can address the cause directly and minimize discomfort.
What is conjunctivitis? Conjunctivitis is the formalized name for “pink eye” (also sometimes referred to as “red eye”). Its primary symptom is a visible reddening of the conjunctiva (the white part of your eye), as well as the eyelid and surrounding areas.
Conjunctivitis has three varieties:
Bacterial – A common version of the illness, bacterial conjunctivitis is quite contagious. Severe cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are treated with antibiotics.
Viral – Also quite common, viral conjunctivitis can spread through a group of people in a flash. It’s not uncommon for someone to come to a classroom or office with this version of the illness, only for several more people to find themselves in short order.
Allergic – Anyone with seasonal allergies has likely experienced this version of conjunctivitis at least once, though it certainly isn’t limited to just those with seasonal allergies.
Treatment for conjunctivitis depends heavily on its cause. Particularly bad cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are treated with antibacterial eye drops, though these eye drops have no effect on viral or allergic conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with allergy medications, though these treatments provide temporary benefit- the allergen must be removed from your area of influence for the symptoms to dissipate permanently.
In most cases, treatment centers around treating the symptoms and allowing the conjunctivitis to run its course. In most cases, the conjunctivitis will clear up on its own in 10 – 15 days.
Please call us or request an appointment online– when scheduling your appointment, be sure to specify that you are seeking a diagnosis for your pink eye symptoms.