You?re probably familiar with a little disease called pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis. If you haven?t experienced this nasty little inconvenience first-hand, you may have a child or know someone who?s child has had it. And although it is most commonly known to occur in children, it does affect people of all ages.
Pink eye can be very contagious, although not in all circumstances. The contagious type is brought on by a virus or bacteria. The non-contagious type is brought on mostly by allergies. You will know if you have pink eye because the whites of your eyes become red, hence the pink, swollen and generally irritated. The lids and area around the eye can also become red and the infected eye will sometimes frequently tear and / or produce a funny-colored discharge. Sometimes it even causes the eyes to become sensitive to light. If not properly taken care of, pink eye can become quite a serious situation, and if it seems to be getting worse, you should definitely see a doctor.
Pink Eye starts in one eye and very often spreads to the other, usually due to touching your eyes and transferring it from one to the other. Be sure to wash your hands every time you touch your eyes so as not to spread the disease. Those with pink eye should also not wear contact lenses or any eye makeup as these things will further irritate the ailment. If you have used eye makeup while experiencing this discomfort, throw it away and also wash any pillow cases or towels that have made contact with the infected eyes.
If the pink eye is not the contagious kind, and if the infection has not yet become serious, there are certain remedies you can try before consulting a doctor. Over-the-counter eye drops or eye washes sometimes alleviate and reduce the symptoms. You can also try a warm compress to help relieve the discomfort and remove any crust that has formed around the eye. You might want to also ask your pharmacist if they can offer any suggestions for over-the-counter medications.
If pain is occurring in the infected eye, or if it feels like there is a foreign object in it, or any discharge is present for more than 24 hours, this is most likely the contagious version of pink eye. You should consult a physician because antibiotics for eyes are only available through a prescription. If your doctor does prescribe any ointment or drops, take care not to touch the applicator tip to the infected eye as you could possibly spread the pink eye.