‘Pink eye’ is a term used to describe conjunctivitis – inflammation of the thin mucous membrane that covers the front surface of the eye as well as the inside of the eyelids. The conjunctiva is normally transparent, but sometimes due to an infection or an allergic reaction it becomes inflamed and turns pink or even red. One or both eyes can be affected, and the change of color is accompanied with other unpleasant symptoms such as itchiness, burning, sensitivity to light and even change in vision. The discomfort caused by conjunctivitis is one of the most common reasons for seeking professional help, since home remedies are not always efficient and can even worsen the situation – we strongly encourage you to seek professional help instead. Your optometrist will most likely prescribe you soothing eye drops or ointment, as well as some antibiotic topical medications if he/she suspects bacteria are the cause of your pink eye. It is important that you apply your medications correctly and on time so that your eyes can heal faster, and the unpleasant symptoms disappear, allowing you to return to your daily routine.
Pink eye is a relatively common condition that quickly responds to proper treatment and maintaining an adequate level of hygiene as well as listening to your optometrist’s advices is the key towards quick recovery. This is not only essential for the patient, but also for the other people in the home of the person who contracted any form of infective conjunctivitis. When someone has contracted infective pink eye, that does not mean that the person should be isolated until all symptoms disappear. However, you must keep in mind that these infections are extremely contagious and can spread very easily, so try to avoid contact with the infected eye(s) as much as you can. In case of contact, make sure you wash your hands and/or face with antiseptic soap immediately afterwards. You may also use alcohol-based hand rubs to sanitize your hands and stop the spreading of germs. Sharing items that have contact with the face such as pillows, towels, make-up etc. should be avoided at all times, as they can transmit the infection to the other people in the household. If you were wearing contacts when you got pink eye, you will probably need to switch to glasses until the condition of your eye improves. Also, you will need to consult your optometrist about getting a new pair of contacts after the infection is cleared, since it is very likely that you will need to get rid of the old, infected pair of contacts. Same goes for your mascara and other eye make-up products you might have used when you contracted pink eye – consider replacing these products with new ones in order to avoid repeating the infection.
If you or someone in your family experience symptoms of conjunctivitis, we strongly encourage you to immediately schedule an appointment with your optometrist, so that he/she can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and prescribe you therapy, as well as give you additional tips on how to speed up the process of recovery. Should you have any more questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Lakes Family Eye Care.