When you were a kid, did you experience your eyes become reddish and all of a sudden, someone close to you was also suffering from it? Your eyes, as well as those who contracted it, got itchy and swollen, right? Then it must have been that you were suffering from pink eye.
Pink eye is well known as conjunctivitis and it is the infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva or the transparent membrane that serves as a covering for the white part of the eye called the sclera that lines the eyelid. In addition to inflammation, there is usually tearing in the eyes that emit a sticky discharge which develops into a crust while one is sleeping, making it difficult for the patient to open their eyes in the morning.
One thing about pink eye, which could affect one or both eyes, is that it is highly contagious. While it is more common in children, adults can also be victims of this eye condition. Here are the 3 major causes of pink eye:
Bacteria - Streptococci, and staphylococci are bacteria types that are most responsible for pink eye. However, chlamydia and gonococci can also cause pink eye. It is accompanied by serious eye pain, itching, swelling, redness, and discharge. The spread of bacterial pink eye is usually as a result of using personal items of infected parties, such as makeup or makeup tools that have been infected with bacteria or putting dirty hands in the eyes. If not treated, it can last for more than 10 days, but if treated, it should resolve in less than 3 days.
Allergies - Pink eye caused by allergies is followed by serious itching and tearing of the eyes. Pain is minimal, but it typically comes with quite a bit of discomfort. Most of the time, pink eye is accompanied by sneezing or coughing. Allergens that trigger pink eyes include grass, dust, pollen, mold, and ragweed. Allergy-based pink eye is not usually contagious.
Viruses - Viruses such as the adenoviruses and herpes virus are the most common causes of pink eye. When a virus is a cause, there is usually a lot of teary discharge accompanied by nasal congestion, puffy eyelids, runny nose, and sharp pain. It is usually contracted from cough and sneeze droplets from an infected individual. It can take as long as 2 weeks to treat depending on the seriousness of the infection.
General Symptoms of Pink Eye:
Redness of the sclera
Hazy or blurry vision
Oversensitivity to light
The best way to prevent pink eye is by practicing good hygiene which includes:
Avoid putting dirty hands in your eyes
Make it a habit to wash your hands often
Avoid sharing towels and other personal items
Do not use dirty items
Changing your pillow cover regularly
Do not leave a makeup item open for too long
Avoid sharing makeup items like eyeliners, mascara, etc.
The treatment of pink eye is dependant on its underlying cause. If it is caused by a virus, you just might have to wait for the virus to run its course which could last for about four to seven days. Virus caused pink eye could be easily contracted so it is imperative to try and prevent further spreading. Viruses cannot be cured by antibiotics, but some antiviral drugs could be helpful.
Antibiotics are most effective against pink eye caused by bacteria as they reduce the lifespan of these bacteria and could come in the form of eye drops or pills. Based on the doctor’s prescription, an eye drop should be administered about four to six times daily. It is important you finish using your drugs even after the disappearance of symptoms.
To deal with pink eyes caused by allergies, the allergy should be treated. Once treated, pink eye should disappear. It is also important to avoid allergens as much as possible so as to avoid pink eye.
Whenever the symptoms of pink eye emerge, the best preventive measure is to stay at home until the watery discharge ceases to avoid the spread of the bacteria or virus. You should also visit your doctor immediately to begin treatment. While mild pink eyes generally go away on their own, some of the more serious forms can cause a scar on the cornea.