Diagnosing and Treating the Annoying Symptoms of Pink Eye
By Jeffrey Schultz on March 11, 2014
Pink eye is one of the most common, not to mention annoying, eye conditions. Although it rarely produces serious long-term consequences, it is important to have the condition diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. Left untreated, it can easily be spread to others and possibly cause damage to the eye.
At Lifetime Eye Care in Cleveland, pink eye treatment is one of the many treatments available to you and your family. Our extraordinary team, led by optometrist Jeffrey E. Schultz, and comprehensive range of quality eye care services make us the ideal choice for patients of all ages throughout the region.
What Is Pink Eye?
Pink eye is the colloquial name given to a condition called conjunctivitis. It refers to an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the inside of your eyelid and the whites of your eyeballs. Pink eye is commonly caused by:
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Allergic reactions
- Exposure to chemicals or fumes
- Dry eyes
- Foreign objects
- In infants, incompletely formed tear ducts
The symptoms of pink eye include:
- Redness in the whites of the eye
- Swollen eyelids
- Irritation and itchiness
- The feeling of grit in the eyes
- A white discharge
- Crust that forms during sleep
- Watering of the eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyelids
It is important that you seek medical attention if you experience any of the above symptoms for more than 12 hours. If you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them immediately if any of these symptoms present themselves. Our team can diagnose your condition and prescribe treatment that will provide relief from your symptoms and put an end to your pink eye.
Pink Eye Treatment
The most effective treatment for pink eye depends on the cause of the condition:
- If your pink eye was caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye drops are often able to clear up the condition within a few days, if used as directed.
- If your pink eye was caused by exposure to a virus, you will need simply to allow the condition to subside on its own. Other than time, there is no cure for viral pink eye. (The lone exception is when pink eye is caused by the herpes simplex virus, in which case antiviral medications may be effective.)
- If your pink eye was caused by an allergic reaction, eye drops will be prescribed according to the type of allergy you have.
- If your pink eye was caused by chemical exposure or the introduction of a foreign object in your eye, you should flush your eye. If your symptoms don’t improve within 24 hours, you should seek medical treatment.
In the vast majority of cases, pink eye is not serious. However, you should always seek professional diagnosis and treatment for any condition of the eye. Irritation of the eyes could be attributable to a more serious condition. The only way to know the cause of your symptoms for certain is to have your eyes professionally examined.
To learn more about pink eye and its treatment, or to schedule an appointment at our comprehensive eye care practice, please contact Lifetime Eye Care today.
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