Our Hendersonville Optometrist Answers Your Questions about Pink Eye
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) occurs when small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed. It is caused by an infection of the transparent membranes which line the eyelids and cover the white portion of the eye. Irritation and inflammation cause blood to rush to the area, engorging the blood vessels on the surface of the eye causing the whites of the eyes to take on a pink or reddish appearance. When caused by infection it is generally bacterial or viral in nature. It can also be caused by allergic reactions and may affect one or both eyes.
Pink eye can be very irritating, but it will rarely damage the vision of those with the condition. Effective treatments exist which will ease the irritation and remove the infection or allergen. Pink eye is very contagious, but with early diagnosis and treatment, your Hendersonville optometrist at Hendersonville Eye Care, OD, PA can limit the infection’s ability to spread.
Pink Eye Symptoms
Symptoms can vary and depend on the type of allergen or infection causing the condition. Pink eye symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Puffy eyes
- Redness of eye
- Redness of eyelid
- Swollen lining of the eye
- Thick eye crust on waking
- Watery eyes
Most of these symptoms can be normal when mild, however, when any of these symptoms are excessively noticeable or irritating, there is a good chance that conjunctivitis is present.
The Causes of Pink Eye include:
- Virus infections
- Bacterial infections
- Contact with allergens
- Chemical contact with the eye
- Foreign objects in the eye
The Risk Factors
- Exposure to allergens
- Exposure to someone with viral or bacterial conjunctivitis
- Contact lens use
Children who are potty training are at the greatest risk for developing pink eye, as they are prone to forget to wash their hands and rub their eyes. Anyone in certain hazardous or unsanitary work or living conditions may also be at risk.
For Wearers of Contact Lenses
Those who wear contact lenses should cease using them when the first symptoms begin. If your symptoms don’t improve within one day after removing the contacts, you should contact your eye doctor or optometrist. He or she will check to see whether your eye condition is more serious and if it is related to contact lens use.
There is a wide range of eye conditions which can cause redness in the eyes. You should seek medical care immediately if you experience sensitivity to light or if your vision becomes blurred.
When to see Your Optometrist in Hendersonville
You should make an appointment to see your eye doctor when you notice any of the symptoms listed above. Pink eye will remain highly contagious for up to two weeks after the first onset of symptoms. Getting an early diagnosis and proper treatment will help to protect those around you.
If you have any questions or concerns about pink eye, call Hendersonville Eye Care, OD, PA at 828-693-5205 today.