There are two main types of pinkeye (also called conjunctivitis), which can be caused by either a virus or a bacterium. The conjunctiva is the thin skin that covers over the white part of the eye, which can become infected and inflamed thus causing pinkeye. Eye infection symptoms can be quite bothersome, so it’s important to know whether you are getting pink eye and what you should do if you get it!
When a virus causes pinkeye, most patients suffer from red, teary, and itchy eyes. Usually when tearing, the eye becomes very watery and running but occasionally when waking up, the eyelids can be very sticky and matted together. The same virus that caused the common cold, where people can get a runny nose, or coughing and sneezing, most often causes pinkeye. In rare occasions viral conjunctivitis can cause inflammation on the front surface on the eye (cornea), and result in the interference of a person’s vision even after the redness has gone away. For those who have viral conjunctivitis, there is no instant treatment with drops or ointment that can make it go away quickly. Unfortunately it usually has to just run its course where the body naturally takes care of the infection, usually in about a week.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is less common and also causes a lot of redness. With bacterial conjunctivitis, there is often a very thick discharge from the eyes, similar to mucus-like consistency. For bacterial conjunctivitis, we have an antibiotic drop eye infection treatment that is very effective. The drops can help clear the bacteria and make the virus go away more quickly than if other treatments were prescribed.
Eye infection symptoms
- Pain, itching, or sensation of a foreign body in the eye
- Photosensitivity (aversion to bright light)
- Redness or small red lines in the white of the eye
- Discharge or yellow pus that may be crusty when waking up- which can be a possible sign of bacterial infection
- Swollen eyelids
- Constant involuntary blinking
In either type, but especially the viral conjunctivitis it is important to remember that it is very contagious. If you do end up getting a type of conjunctivitis it is very important to always wash your hands, try to avoid touching your eyes, and if you do have to use a tissue, make sure to throw it away to make sure you do not spread it to another person or your other eye.
To properly diagnose the patient in order to provide the appropriate treatment, please set up an appointment with Dr. Rosa Optometry as soon as possible. Early detection and proper treatment is the key to avoiding discomfort and long-term damage.
Call us today for more information about our other treatment options.
“An eye with conjunctivitis” by Daemonanyndel – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:An_eye_with_conjunctivitis.jpg#/media/File:An_eye_with_conjunctivitis.jpg