At Mid Atlantic Eye Physicans we're seeing a substantial number of cases of conjunctivitis and pink eye. Here are some things you need to know to protect yourself and your family.
Pink eye is an infectious form of conjunctivitis. It is most often caused by viruses, but in some cases can be caused by bacteria. Some people experience mild redness, itching, and no discharge, while others experience more severe symptoms. We typically see cases where the patient's eyes are red and inflamed.
Some types of pink eye are highly contagious and easily spread from person to person.
You should see your Eye MD right away if you're in pain or having trouble seeing, if you are sensitive to light, your eye is producing a lot of pus or mucus, and if you have other symptoms like fever or body aches.
Pink eye is common among children and can be spread easily in schools. Here are some quick tips:
- Use a clean towel or tissue each time you wipe your face and eyes.
- Wash your hands very often. Always wash them before and after you eat, when you go to the bathroom, or after you sneeze or cough.
- Try not to touch your eyes. If you do, wash your hands right away.
- Bacteria can also live in makeup. This can cause pink eye and even a dangerous infection of the eye. Make sure you don't use makeup while your eye is infected and you replace it following treatment.
Treatment usually depends on the type of conjunctivitis you have. If your pink eye is bacterial, we would prescribe you an antibiotic eye drop. However, antibiotics do not treat an infection caused by a virus or by allergies.
If your conjunctivitis is due to allergies, you may be told to use a certain eye drop to help control the itchiness and reduce puffiness.
In some cases, placing a cool, wet washcloth on your eyes can make them feel more comfortable.
The best news is conjunctivitis usually goes away within one to two weeks. If your symptoms last longer, you should schedule an appointment with your Eye MD to make sure you do not have a more serious eye condition.
As always, Mid Atlantic Eye Physicians is here to help.