Infectious pink eye is highly contagious, spreads fast through contact, and regularly affects young people far more than older patients, but anyone can catch pink eye. Here at Vision City of Lake Worth, our optometrist treats pink eye of all kinds, including infectious pink eye.
Pink Eye Defined
The technical term for pink eye is conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva is a membrane that protects the inner eyelid as well as the outer part of the eye. When this membrane becomes inflamed or infected, usually due to a virus or bacteria, the resulting condition is known as conjunctivitis. Commonly discussed in terms of red eye or pink eye, conjunctivitis causes eye irritation and oftentimes discharge. Normally, conjunctivitis lasts for a few days, maybe a week. However, chronic cases can occur where the problem flares up again and again repeatedly.
Conjunctivitis is usually just inconvenient and uncomfortable. There are, however, rare cases where the infection gets worse, and that then does affect sight directly, even with permanent damage.
Pink eye happens most frequently after the patient has already come down with a viral cold or flu. Even patients who aren’t sick can be exposed by contact if in close quarters with someone who is infected. Pink eye spreads fast among children. Early-grade school age who don’t understand yet how to stay clean, wash hands, and avoid those who are sick are those most likely to contract pink eye.
Conjunctivitis can also be triggered by dust as an allergic reaction, and it can also be produced with a bacterial infection. Certain STDs can also trigger the eye condition as a symptom of a bigger problem as well.
Optometry Treatment for Pink Eye
The level of severity often dictates the treatment approach. In the simplest cases, conjunctivitis can be addressed with eye drops and ice packs to the eyes to reduce swelling. Again, most cases are resolved in a few days.
More serious cases of pink eye can require eye care services involving professional cleaning and application of medical solutions to the eye to kill off the viral or bacterial infection. This may be applied as a prescription ointment or eye drops. A typical eye exam treatment routine can last a few weeks as well to make sure the condition is fully erased and to eliminate the chance of recurrence. The closure will be confirmed by an eye doctor to make sure no remnants still exist in the affected eyes.
Eye Care Services in Lake Worth
If you or a family member are suffering from what looks or feels like pink eye, schedule an appointment with our optometrist at Vision City of Lake Worth. We can nail down specifically what's going with a full eye exam and confirm how to treat a pink eye if it does exist. Give us a call today to set up a visit and get some relief for your eyes.