Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is an infection of the transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eyes, the Conjunctiva. While the Conjunctiva is transparent, it contains blood vessels that when inflamed, give the eye its red appearance. Conjunctivitis can be caused by several things such as exposure to bacteria, viruses, and allergen. Sometimes a foreign body in the eye can cause irritation too. Some doctors use the term pink eye to refer to any of the types of conjunctivitis. To prevent the spread of pink eye, our Phoenix Conjunctivitis treatment doctors will tell you how to spot it, stop it, and prevent it.
Know Its Symptoms
The tell-tale sign of pink eye is an eye with a pink appearance. However, each type of Conjunctivitis has its own unique symptoms.
Viral Conjunctivitis is caused by a variety of viruses and spreads very easily. The usual symptoms are watery or itchy eyes and sensitivity to light. This is one of the most contagious of its forms and can be transmitted through coughing or sneezing. In a large city like Phoenix, it can spread very quickly.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria in the eye and can become very serious if left untreated. Watch for giveaways like yellow discharge in the corners of your eyes. Although this form can be serious, it is usually only spread through direct or indirect contact, like sharing face towels, pillows or makeup.
Allergic Conjunctivitis accompanies the status quo of allergy symptoms like watering, burning, itching, stuffiness, runny nose, and light sensitivity. The only upside is your allergies are not contagious, but your symptoms may keep you uncomfortable.
How to Treat It
For bacterial conjunctivitis, your Phoenix eye doctor will prescribe an antibiotic eye drop and/or ointment to get rid of the infection. On rare occasions, debris in the eye could be causing irritation. If this is the case, then our ocular conditions center is the perfect solution. Accent Eye Care Phoenix Conjunctivitis treatment specialists are well versed in the procedures for safely and effectively removing foreign bodies from the eye. We have Haag Streit Slit Lamps available to help diagnose the cause. For Viral Conjunctivitis and Allergic Conjunctivitis, preservative free artificial tears can be used two to four times a day to help flush out the eyes and to help improve the tears that can also act as a barrier from the environment. Accent Eye Care doctors can also prescribe medications to help with ocular allergies.
How to Stop It
The best way to stop conjunctivitis is to prevent it from spreading. Here are 4 simple tips to avoid pink eye.
- Practice proper hygiene, especially at school, work, or other public places. Always wash your hands and keep disinfectant close by.
- Avoid sharing personal items like towels, wash cloths, pillows, or blankets.
- Clean the items you use too. Surfaces like countertops, door knobs, and phones can carry bacteria and viruses.
- If you wear contacts, then practice proper lens care. Contacts can easily cause infection. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts. Clean your contact lens case in the mornings, and let the case air dry during the day.