Pink Eye FAQs from your Eye Doctor in Hendersonville
Although pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, sometimes looks quite alarming, our Hendersonville eye doctor assures patients that it is easily diagnosed and treated. With the right instruction and information, conjunctivitis can also be easily prevented.
Your Hendersonville Optometrist Discusses the Common Questions about Pink Eye
Our optometrist provides answers to some of the most frequently asked pink eye (conjunctivitis) questions below.
What is pink eye?
Pink eye refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the underside of the eyelids) and the sclera (the transparent covering of the eye). This inflammation causes blood vessels in the eye and eyelids to dilate, resulting in the telltale pink appearance.
What causes pink eye?
Though the term "pink eye" most commonly refers to a contagious viral infection, there are several conditions which can cause inflammation of the sclera and conjunctiva. The most common types of conjunctivitis are categorized by their various causes, including:
- Viral Conjunctivitis - A viral infection causes this type of pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis is extremely contagious.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis - A bacterial infection leads to bacterial conjunctivitis. If left untreated, bacterial conjunctivitis can cause severe damage to the eyes and eyesight.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis - Environmental allergens such as pollen, pet danger, mold, and dust cause this type of pink eye in individuals with allergies.
Conjunctivitis can also be caused by contact with chemical irritants or by foreign objects in the eyes.
What are pink eye symptoms?
Pink eye symptoms vary depending on the type of infection or irritant causing the symptoms. These symptoms include:
- excessive watering
- excessive crust over eye upon waking
- swollen or puffy eyelid and lining of the eye
- redness of eye and eyelid
If you experience any of these symptoms or unusual eye problems, an examination with an eye doctor should be scheduled as soon as possible to begin treatment right away.
What does pink eye treatment involve?
The method of pink eye treatment our optometrist will recommend depends on the type of pink eye present in the patient (bacterial, viral, allergic, or other). Like most viruses, viral pink eye typically clears up on its own after a few days. Patients can apply a cold, wet washcloth to the eyes for at home relief. If pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, our optometrist will likely prescribe a course of antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Allergy medications and avoidance of allergens are used to treat and prevent allergic conjunctivitis.
How can I prevent pink eye?
Pink eye can be prevented with similar hygiene and health practices used to prevent the spread of other viral and bacterial infections. Our Hendersonville optometrist recommends limiting exposure with frequent hand washing, not sharing personal items, frequently cleaning surfaces, and not touching eyes.
If you have More Questions, Call Your Hendersonville Optometrist Today!
If you experience eye irritation, redness, or notice any symptoms associated with pink eye, we recommend you schedule an appointment with a Hendersonville optometrist as soon as possible by contacting us at our office at 828-693-5205.