Are you suffering from itchy, pink eyes? If so, you may have pink eye. LiveMD provides you with the signs and symptoms of this infection and gives treatment options to help you feel better faster.
What is Pink Eye?
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an extremely common, highly contagious infection that can affect one, or both eyes in a person of any age. This infection occurs when either a virus or bacteria comes into contact with the eye, causing it to become red, inflamed and infected. Often the eye is extremely itchy, sore and there may be a thick white or yellowish discharge that is secreted.
What should I do if I think I have pink eye?
Although pink eye can be uncomfortable, it is not usually a serious condition. The infection will usually go away on its own within a week but the use of prescription, antibiotic eye drops can shorten its duration and help to relieve some of the symptoms. These eye drops can be prescribed by a doctor.
There are also some at-home treatments that can provide relief for pink eye. Bathing the eye with warm or cool water or applying a compress to the eye can help to reduce the swelling, remove any discharge and relieve itching. Over-the-counter pain medications can also be taken to help reduce any pain.
It is important to speak with a doctor immediately if the infection has lasted longer than a week, if the symptoms are severe, if you are experiencing a great deal of pain or if your vision is affected.
Can pink eye be prevented?
In most cases, pink eye can be prevented with good hygiene habits. Washing your hands frequently and refraining from touching your eye area will help to keep you from contracting this infection or from spreading it to other people if you already have it.
If you are suffering from pink eye you should not wear any makeup on your eyes until the infection has cleared up and you should throw out any cosmetic products that may have been used while you had the infection. Using contaminated products could spread the pink eye from one eye to the other or it may cause the infection to be prolonged or recur after already clearing up.
The same rule should be used when applying a compress or bathing your eyes to relieve pink eye symptoms. A different cloth should be used for each eye and they should only be used once. Cloths should then washed in hot soapy water to ensure that all bacteria has been removed.
Lastly, to avoid spreading the infection make sure that when instilling eye drops, the dropper tip does not come into contact with the eye or any membrane around the eye. This can contaminate the medication inside, can spread the infection and make it harder to cure. Also, eye drops should not be shared amongst family or friends as this increases the chances of spreading the infection as well.
If you suspect that you have contracted pink eye and would like the advice of a doctor or ophthalmologist, LiveMD has a team of trained professionals that are online and available to assist you right now. Visit www.mylivemd.com and begin your live, one-on-one consultation right away by phone, video, text or in-person.
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