Pink eye

 

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Watch the following video that explains pinkeye

 

 

 

Pink eye (Conjunctivitis) –
What is pink eye?

 

Pink eye is a swelling or inflammation of the lining surface of the eye. The lining surface (conjunctiva) becomes red due to irritation of this surface.

Pinkeye is common. It usually spreads easily, especially among children in day care centers and schools or amongst people who come into contact with carriers of the infection

Because pink eye is often spread from eye to hand to eye, good hygiene is important to stop the spread. Sharing a washcloth, towel, or other item with a person who has pink eye can spread the infection.

What causes pink eye?

Pink eye is usually caused by a virus. It may be associated with a cold or flu. Less commonly, pink eye may be caused by a bacteria. It is important to consider that there are other causes of a red eye. Dry air, allergies, smoke, and chemicals can also cause pink eye.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of pinkeye include:

Redness, Itchy, burning eyes or grittiness of the eye
More tears than usual. There may be a clear or white discharge. Waking up with the eyelashes of one or both eyes stuck together is a common symptom of pink eye. Mild sensitivity to light. The symptoms may begin in one eye or both. Sometimes the symptoms begins in one eye then spreads to the other eye.

Some symptoms may suggest something more serious then pink eye. Pain, decrease in vision or contact lens usage, require you to visit a ophthalmologist. Very young children also should be monitored by a ophthalmologist.

How is pink eye diagnosed?

A eye doctor can diagnose pink eye by asking questions about the symptoms and examination of the eye. Sometimes it may be necessary to take a sample of the discharge, to be tested .

How is it treated?

If your ophthalmologist thinks you have a bacterial infection, then antibiotic eye drops are prescribed. For a viral pink eye, the infection is self limiting and your doctor may prescribe drops to comfort the eye. Viral pink eye usually takes 7 to 10 days to clear. If your symptoms persist for longer then it is necessary to see your ophthalmologist.

If the pink eye is a result of chemicals or an allergy, then it is necessary to avoid the chemical or allergen.

Home treatment of pink eye, may make the eye feel more comfortable. The use of cold or hot facecloth over the eyes may provide some comfort.

Hand washing prevents the spread of the infection. If there is crusting of the eyelids, use a moist cloth to remove any crusting. Use of a warm or cold facecloth may provide symptomatic relief.

Avoid contact lens use until the pink eye has resolved. Sterilize your contact lenses and ensure your storage case is sterile. If you use disposable contact lenses, use a new pair once the pink eye has resolved. Allow 2 days after the symptoms has resolved, before wearing your contact lenses again. Continue your medication until your ophthalmologist advises you to stop.

Avoid makeup until the pink eye has resolved. Discard any makeup that you were using when you got the pink eye. Do not share towels, face cloths , or pillows while you have the pink eye.

How can you avoid spreading pinkeye?

Pink eye is spread by contact. Avoiding touching hands or sharing objects with someone who is infected. Avoid touching your fellow eye, to prevent a infection from spreading to a non infected eye.

Follow these tips to help prevent the spread of pinkeye:

Wash your hands before and after you touch your eyes or face or use medicine in your eyes.
Avoid sharing eye makeup.
Do not share contact lens equipment, containers, or solutions.
Avoid sharing eye medicine.
Do not share towels, bed linens, pillows, or handkerchiefs. Use clean linens, towels, and washcloths each day.

Children infected with pink eye should remain at home until the infection has cleared.

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