Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)


Conjunctivitis can be a very contagious condition. Conjunctivitis is also known as "pink eye" because of the way that it makes affected eyes pink and swollen. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that covers the whites of the eyes and the inside of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis can have many causes. Knowing how to recognize conjunctivitis and when to seek treatment can help you care for your eyes and preserve your vision.


What Causes Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can have many causes including:

Allergies- Seasonal allergies can cause inflammations all over the body, including in the conjunctiva.

Virus- Viral infections, like the infections that cause the common cold, can also cause conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious. People infected with viral conjunctivitis can easily spread the illness from person to person. Anyone experiencing viral conjunctivitis must wash their hands regularly, especially when handling food or preparing food.

Bacterial infection- There are several different types of bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis. Some types of sexually transmitted diseases can also cause conjunctivitis.

Irritants- Environmental factors, like smoke in the air, can cause a very temporary form of conjunctivitis that often goes away within a few hours of being exposed to the irritant.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The symptoms of conjunctivitis can span a range, and not all people with conjunctivitis will have the same symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • The area around the whites of the eyes becomes red and inflamed.
  • Itchy, burning eyes.
  • Redness of the inner eyelid.
  • Increased tear production.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Green or white eye discharge.
  • Itchy eyes.

Conjunctivitis Treatment

The way your conjunctivitis is treated will depend on the cause behind the conjunctivitis. After examining your condition and your symptoms, your Fort Worth or Lubbock optometrist will be able to tell you the best way to treat your conjunctivitis. Here are some of the pink eye treatment methods that your optometrist may recommend:

Medication- If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Eye drops- Eye drops are a method of treatment for people experiencing a bacterial infection.

Anti-inflammatories- Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. This can be effective if you are experiencing conjunctivitis because of allergies.

There are some types of conjunctivitis that don't respond to treatment. Viral conjunctivitis in particular is not affected by medications and must run its course, similar to a cold.

Contact Your Optometrist for  Eye Disease Management

If you are displaying symptoms of pink eye and believe that you have an infection, contact your optometrist for an eye exam. At the Vision Center, we help patients suffering from problems like conjunctivitis. When you make an appointment with our optometrist, we'll provide you with a proper diagnosis and treat your condition. For more information about treatment of conjunctivitis, call us today at 806-793-1927.