Eyes Red? Itchy? Could it be Pink Eye?

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Understanding pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Pink eye or conjunctivitis is often a viral reaction but could also be caused by a bacterial infection. Pink eye is highly contagious, so getting an early diagnosis is important.

What are the common symptoms of pink eye (conjunctivitis)?

The most common symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness of the eye, water or mucus discharge, and a burning or gritty feeling in the eye.

What are the common causes of conjunctivitis

There are many potential causes of conjunctivitis – bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or maybe even a foreign body in the eye. All types of conjunctivitis cause a red eye, although not everyone with a red eye has conjunctivitis.

How do you prevent conjunctivitis?

Simple hygiene is a good way to control the spread of pink eye:

  • Do no share handkerchiefs, tissues, or towels
  • Wash your hands often
  • Don't rub or touch your eyes
  • Dispose of cosmetics and contact lenses

How do you treat conjunctivitis?

Treatment options depends on the cause of the conjunctivitis. That's why it's important to have the correct diagnosis before treatment.

  • Viral conjunctivitis: A topical antihistamine eye drop helps reduce irritation. Good hygiene will prevent spreading the viral infection from one eye to the other.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis: An antibiotic eye drop is used to treat a bacterial pink eye.
  • Foreign body or nonspecific conjunctivitis: Usually heals within a few days without treatment. Though eye drops or ointments can help it heal faster.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis: The medications depends on the severity and frequency of the allergic reaction. Over-the-counter eye drops are also effective.

Think you need care for your pink eye?

If you think you or your loved one needs medical care for a pink eye, we can help.

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