Conjunctivitis develops when the mucus membrane lining the inside of your eyelids becomes irritated or infected. This causes the vessels in your eyes to become inflamed, giving your eyes a pink hue. In today’s post, your expert optometrist from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care answers commonly asked questions about conjunctivitis.
Q: What Causes It?
There are three types of conjunctivitis: allergic, viral and bacterial. The allergic type occurs when your eyes come into contact with a certain substance that triggers a hypersensitivity reaction from your immune system. It is a common problem in the fall, with ragweed being a major culprit. The viral type is typically caused by the same virus that causes the common cold, while the bacterial type develops when a microorganism infects your eyes. We will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine which type you have so we can provide effective treatment.
Q: What Are the Symptoms?
Conjunctivitis symptoms may differ depending on the type you have. That said, all three types can cause your eyes to become pink, itchy and watery. Allergic conjunctivitis is often accompanied by a runny nose. The viral type usually involves a clear eye discharge, while the bacterial form may produce thicker, yellow-green secretions.
Q: Is It Transmissible?
Allergic pink eye is not a transmissible condition. The viral form, however, is highly contagious. That said, it usually goes away on its own after a few days. The bacterial type is also easily transferred from person to person.
Q: How Is It Managed?
If you have allergic pink eye, we may recommend taking antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medications. For viral conjunctivitis, we may suggest applying a cold compress over your eyes to reduce the inflammation. Bacterial pink eye is typically treated with antibiotics. Always remember to take your medication on time and complete the whole course. It is also important to observe proper hygiene to prevent spreading the disease. Avoid sharing towels or other personal things with others. Make sure to wash your hands frequently.
If you have any further questions about pink eye or eyewear such as quality eyeglasses, call us at (301) 859-4060. You can also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Rockville, MD, and Alexandria, VA.