Pink eye conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye or viral conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid (WebMD).
Viral Conjunctivitis: is it different?
Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes—they are both referred to as pink eye and require conjunctivitis treatment and pink eye remedy. Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery or mucous discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thicker, yellow-green discharge and may be associated with a respiratory infection or with a sore throat. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be associated with colds.
Pinkeye and conjunctivitis are characterized by redness and a gritty sensation in your eye, along with itching. Often, a discharge forms a crust on your eyelashes during the night.
Is conjunctivitis contagious and / or pink eye contagious?
Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is very contagious. Adults and children alike can develop both of these types of pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children than adults.
Pinkeye caused by some bacteria and viruses can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. Conjunctivitis symptoms in newborn babies, however, should be reported to a doctor immediately.
Pinkeye has a number of different causes, including viruses; bacterial infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia; irritation from shampoos, air or water pollution, smoke and pool chlorine; and allergies to dust, pollen and those that impact contact lens wearers.
Pink eye symptoms
Most common pink eye symptoms include:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night
- Blurred Vision
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
If symptoms of pinkeye or viral conjunctivitis or bacterial conjunctivitis occur, see your eye doctor or family medicine specialist for advice and treatment. He or she will send a sample of pinkeye mucous to the lab to determine proper treatment and to identify the cause.
Pinkeye and conjunctivitis treatment
Bacteria l conjunctivitis, including STDs, is caused by bacteria and treated with antibiotics in the form of eye drops, ointments and / or pills. A prescription of eye drops or ointments may need to be applied to the inside of the eyelid three to four times a day for five to seven days. Pills may need to be taken for several days. If you follow your doctor’s treatment to the letter, you should rid yourself of pinkeye within a week.
Viral conjunctivitis often results from the viruses that cause a common cold, in which case you must let it run its course, as antibiotics won’t likely be prescribed as part of pinkeye treatment. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. It’s recommended you avoid contact with family and friends, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and is a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen. In response to allergens, your body produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E, which triggers special cells called mast cells in the mucous lining of your eyes and airways to release inflammatory substances, including histamines. Your body's release of histamine can produce a number of allergy signs and symptoms, including red or pink eyes.
Pink eye remedy for comfort
Soothe the discomfort of pink eye by applying warm compresses to affected eye or eyes. To make a compress, soak a clean, lint-free cloth in warm water, then wring it out before applying it gently to closed eyelids.
Avoid rubbing your eyes if you experience allergic conjunctivitis, to avoid the release of histamines. Instead, use cool compresses to soothe your eyes. You might also try specially formulated over-the-counter eyedrops, which contain an antihistamine and an agent that constricts blood vessels.*
*Statements contained herein have not been reviewed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Yourlens.com does not provide medical advice. User assumes all liability for content. Talk to your licensed eye care professional or eye doctor regarding vision correction, eye or vision disorders, eye discomfort, contact lens types and materials and for general information on eye care products and eye health.