Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
Pink eye causes the eye to look bloodshot and occurs in the clear membrane over the white part of the eye. The pink or red color is due to inflammation, and conjunctivitis causes itchiness and discomfort.
There are various forms of pink eye, and differentiating among them is important for treatments purposes. You can usually tell which type you have by the way your eyes feel:
- Viral conjunctivitis usually occurs only in one eye and causes excessive eye watering and a light discharge.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs in both eyes and causes a heavy discharge, sometimes greenish.
- Allergic conjunctivitis occurs in both eyes and causes itching and redness in the eyes, occasionally in the nose, and excessive tearing.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis usually occurs in both eyes and causes contact lens intolerance, itching, a heavy discharge, tearing and red bumps on the underside of the eyelids.
Conjunctivitis is brought about by a virus, bacteria, an allergic reaction or a foreign body on the eye.
The best way to treat pink eye is to avoid the causes since both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis spread easily to others. Once pink eye has developed, however, a warm compress can help alleviate the discomfort.
Medication may be provided by your eye doctor depending on which type of pink you have. There usually isn't medication associated with viral conjunctivitis because it usually clears up on its own. Bacterial conjunctivitis is normally taken care of with antibiotic eyedrops, and antihistamine allergy pills or eyedrops will help control allergic conjunctivitis. For giant papillary conjunctivitis, eyedrops may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and itching.