Pink eye is a prevalent form of eye infection that rapidly spreads to others. Depending on the seriousness, treatment might be needed. The condition involves the inflammation of the conjunctiva or transparent membrane lining the interior of the eyelid and white region of the eye. The possible causes of pink eye include viruses, bacteria, allergens and irritants.
What are the signs?
The typical indications of pink eye are based on the root cause but generally include the following:
- Redness or swelling of the white region of the eye
- Increased production of tears
- Gritty sensation in the eye
- White, yellow or greenish drainage from the eye
- Irritated, itchy and/or burning sensation in the eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
If pink eye was caused by virus or bacteria, it is considered highly transmittable. In case the cause are allergens or irritants, it is not contagious.
For the contagious form of pink eye, the risk of spreading to others can be lessened by:
- Regular washing of hands
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eyes
- Avoid sharing towels and eye makeup
When to seek medical care
In most cases of pink eye, it is typically mild and subsides on its own without requiring any treatment. There are instances where a doctor should be seen.
A doctor must be consulted if the following are present:
- Significant redness in the affected eye
- Moderate or severe eye pain
- Blurry vision or light sensitivity
- Individual has a weak or compromised immune system
- The symptoms continue to worsen or do not improve especially in a bacterial case that does not subside after 24 hours of antibiotic therapy.