Also referred to as conjunctivitis, pink eye occurs when the transparent lining under your eyelids becomes infected or irritated. This causes inflamed blood vessels that give your eyes a pinkish appearance. Here, your expert eye doctor from Envision Eye Center answer the top questions about this condition.
What Are the Types and Causes?
There are three major types of pink eye: viral, bacterial, and allergic. Viral pink eye usually resolves on its own within a few days, while the bacterial type is highly contagious and requires prompt treatment via antibiotics. Allergic pink eye is a hypersensitivity response to a certain substance.
What Are the Risk Factors and Symptoms?
Improper use of contact lenses, exposure to trigger allergens, and contact with someone with pink eye are common risk factors. The symptoms will vary based on which type of pink eye you have. Both viral and bacterial pink eye are often accompanied by cold, flu, or sore throat. Viral pink eye causes has a clear, watery discharge, while bacterial pink eye can produce thicker, yellow-green secretions. Both may be transmitted to others through sneezing or coughing. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious, and usually manifests with a runny nose and watery and inflamed eyes.
How Is It Treated?
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit our eye specialists so we can perform a comprehensive eye exam. We treat bacterial pink eye with antibiotics. Viral pink eye typically resolves on its own, but we recommend holding a cold washcloth over your eyes to reduce your discomfort. We also strongly recommend observing proper hygiene to prevent spreading it. If you typically ewar contacts, we advise switching to eyeglasses until the infection clears. For allergic conjunctivitis, we may advise taking antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids to reduce inflammation.
If you have any further questions about pink eye, call us at (512) 271-6677. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We look forward to helping families near Austin and other TX areas achieve better visual health.