What is Pink Eye? Pink eye is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that covers the white part of the eyeball. Pinkeye is a common name also known as conjunctivitis. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they’re more visible. This is caused by reddish or pink eyes to appear. Viruses, bacterial infections, allergies, or chemical agents can induce pinkeye symptoms. Generally, a virus or bacterial infection causes pink eye. Pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can further limit its spread.
Many eye specialists use the term “pink eye” to refer particularly to viral conjunctivitis, a very contagious infection caused by a variety of viruses. Sometimes the pink eye is the result of a chronic medical condition.
What Causes Pink Eye
The types of conjunctivitis, based on cause, there are four main causes of pink eye:
- Viral conjunctivitis
- Bacterial conjunctivitis
- Allergic conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis- Caused by infection of the eye with a virus, like the common cold. Viral conjunctivitis can be caused by a number of different viruses, such as adenoviruses. This type of pink eye is very contagious.
Bacterial conjunctivitis- Caused by infection of the eye with certain bacteria, most commonly caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, Moraxella catarrhalis, or, less commonly, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis.Bacterial conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated. More common in kids than adults.
Allergic conjunctivitis- Caused by the body’s reaction to allergens, such as pollen from trees, grasses, plants, molds, dust mites, dander from pets, medicines, or cosmetics. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious. It can occur seasonally when allergens such as pollen counts are high. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs more frequently among people with other allergic conditions, such as hay fever, asthma, and eczema.
Irritants-This type of conjunctivitis Caused by irritation from a foreign body in the eye or contact with chemicals, smoke, fumes, or dust. It also can occur when contact lenses are worn longer than recommended or not cleaned properly. This conjunctivitis is not contagious.
Pink Eye Symptoms
The primary pink eye symptom is an eye that has a pink appearance. Other pink eye symptoms depend on what causes pink eye that you have:
• Viral Conjunctivitis-The most common viral pink eye symptoms are-watery, itchy eyes, sensitivity to light. It tends to happen in both eyes and usually accompanies a common cold or respiratory tract infection. Viral Conjunctivitis is highly contagious; This type of pink eye can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
• Bacterial Conjunctivitis- This type of pink eye symptoms are-A sticky, greenish-yellow or yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. In some cases, this discharge causes the eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up. Usually spread by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye. One or both eyes can be affected.
• Allergic conjunctivitis-Watery, itchy eyes often accompanied by a runny nose, and light sensitivity is common for this type of pink eye symptoms. Both eyes are affected. Not contagious.
Viral pink eye vs Bacterial pink eye symptoms
The main difference between viral & bacterial Conjunctivitis is greenish-yellow or yellow eye discharge in the eye corner in the case of bacterial Conjunctivitis. Also, you difference viral pink eye vs bacterial pink eye symptoms by a Viral Conjunctivitis is very sensitive to light.
Pink Eye Diagnosis
In most cases, your doctor can often determine What Causes Pink Eye, whether a viral, bacterial, allergen or chemical irritants is causing the eye conjunctivitis (pink eye) based on asking questions about patient history, symptoms, and eye examination. However, it can sometimes be difficult to make a firm pinkeye diagnosis because some symptoms are the same no matter the cause. Although not routinely done, your healthcare provider may collect a sample of eye discharge from the infected eye and send it to the laboratory to help them determine what causes pink eye and how best to treat it.
How to Treat Pink Eye
Pink eye treatment is habitually focused on symptom relief of the pink eye. In the case of pink eye, inflammation, and dryness caused by conjunctivitis, you can use cold compresses, clean your eyelids with a wet cloth, and artificial tears which you can purchase without a prescription(over the counter). If you wear contact lens, You should also discontinue wearing contact lenses until your eye specialist says it’s okay to start wearing them again. The most common question from patient-how to treat pink eye symptoms, the answer is what causes pink eye symptoms. The strategy for pink eye treatment is following-
Viral Conjunctivitis Treatment
Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are mild. Viral conjunctivitis often begins in one eye and then infects the other eye within a few days. The infection will normally clear up in 7 to 14 days without Viral Conjunctivitis treatment. But in some cases, viral conjunctivitis can take 2 to 3 weeks or more.
A physician can prescribe antiviral medication to treat serious Viral Conjunctivitis for which there is caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus. Antibiotics will not improve viral conjunctivitis.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatment
Almost all bacterial conjunctivitis are self-limited and will clear within 2 to 5 days without treatment but can take 2 weeks to go away completely. Supportive therapy for bacterial conjunctivitis consists of cool compresses and artificial tears two-six times daily. However, there are some more virulent organisms cause chronic colonization and symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, for bacterial conjunctivitis, that is usually given topically as eye drops or ointment. Antibiotics may help shorten the length of infection, reduce complications, and reduce the spread to others.
Allergic Conjunctivitis Treatment
Allergic Conjunctivitis caused by an allergen usually improves by removing the allergen from the person’s environment. For allergic conjunctivitis treatment, your doctor may prescribe one of many different types of eyedrops-may include medications that control allergic reactions, such as antihistamines(topical antihistamine ) and mast cell stabilizers, or drugs that help control inflammation, such as steroids, decongestants, and anti-inflammatory drops.
Home care for allergic conjunctivitis treatment involves a combination of prevention strategies-close windows when the pollen count is high, avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, dyes, and perfumes and avoid rubbing your eyes. Applying a cool compress on your eyes can also help reduce inflammation and itching.
Pink Eye Prevention
Pink eye is a common eye condition that affecting more than three million Americans each year. Pink eye is a highly contagious condition, in the case of viral & Bacterial Conjunctivitis. Oftentimes pink eyes are caused by allergens. Viral and bacterial pink eye can be quickly spread from person to person, meaning that steps must be regarded to avoid contraction.