When Those Eyes Get So Very Red — Pink Eye

School and pink eye kind of go together. Kids go to PE and share a towel. They borrow a pencil that their friend used after touching their eye. They borrow a calculator.

All of those harmless actions can results in inflammation of the conjunctiva. You know it as pink eye. Children get pink eye a lot, and they share it a lot because it is highly contagious. It’s not a serious condition, but it can spread like a California wildlife and is irritating for the sufferer.

Here’s some information on pink eye.

What is it?

Pink eye is formally known as inflammation of the conjunctiva, clinically called conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.

What causes pink eye?

There are several things that can cause pink eye:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, pool chlorine
  • Reaction to eye drops
  • An allergic reaction to things such as pollen, dust, or smoke
  • An allergic reaction to contact lenses
  • Fungi, amoebas, and parasites

Some forms of conjunctivitis can result from sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia can cause adult conjunctivitis, for instance. Pink eye that is due to bacteria is easily spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms of pink eye?

These can vary based on the cause, but symptoms can include:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Swollen conjunctiva
  • Excessive tearing
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially during sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Treating conjunctivitis

How we treat pink eye depends on the cause.

  • Viruses — These must simply run their course, just like a cold. This will usually do so in 4-7 days.
  • Bacteria — Antibiotic eye drops, ointments, and pills will usually improve the pink eye within one week.
  • Allergies — We try to find the allergy trigger, but if that isn’t quickly possible, we’ll simply use antihistamines to relieve your allergy symptoms. Although, if your conjunctivitis is making your eyes dry, this treatment may make them even drier.

If your kid comes home with screaming red eyes that should be white. Come see us and we’ll help get them past their pink eye. Call us at (800) 244-9907.

Posted in: Eye Conditions


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