If you wake up one morning with one pair of eyelids stuck together and an itchy, red, watery, possibly painful eye, the first thing you should do is call your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Chances are good that you have conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye. Sometimes, your eye doctor will prescribe you eye drops, but other times, you may be sent home without medication; the reason is that there are several different types of pink eye, and different drops work on different types.
Bacterial Pink Eye
If you have a bacterial infection, you're very likely to go home with antibiotic eyedrops; if left untreated, bacterial conjunctivitis can cause eye damage. It's also very contagious, and getting it under control with antibiotics can reduce the chances that you'll spread it to someone else.
The bacterial type of this condition often causes eyelid swelling and a greenish or yellow discharge from the eye. This is the type that is most likely to result in you having a hard time opening your eye in the morning.
Viral Pink Eye
Sometimes, a virus causes conjunctivitis. Like bacterial pink eye, the viral type is very contagious. Unfortunately, antibiotic drops will not make the viral infection go away, nor will they help prevent you from spreading the virus to others. The good news, however, is that it should clear up on its own in a few days without any treatment.
Symptoms of viral pink eye include a clear, water discharge and light sensitivity. It's important to avoid rubbing your eyes and to wash your hands often to prevent spreading the conjunctivitis to your other eye and to other people.
Allergic Pink Eye
If you have seasonal or environmental allergies, your eyes can become very irritated and develop allergic conjunctivitis. While antibiotic drops will not help, your optometrist might recommend steroid drops to settle the inflammation and bring you some relief. In addition, you might need allergy medication (pills or liquid oral medication) to get your allergies under control.
Allergic pink eye is not contagious, so you won't have to worry about spreading the condition to others. You should still practice good hygiene to avoid further irritating the affected eye or eyes.
Your eye doctor might take a swab of your eye discharge to determine whether the cause is bacterial, viral or allergic. If the pink eye is severe and the eye doctor isn't sure which type you have, you might receive eyedrops to use just in case it's bacterial, since this type can cause eye damage. For more information, contact a company like Whiteville Eye Associates.Share
3 December 2015
Growing up, one of my best friends was also my cousin. This special cousin and I shared something in common. We both had fiery red hair. When we were kids, many people thought we were sisters when they saw us together. Sadly, my cousin was born with crossed eyes, and because of her condition, she was often ridiculed by the other kids at school. As we grew older we began researching modern ways to correct her problem. Together we found the perfect solution. If you were born with crossed eyes, don’t despair. You do have hope. On this blog, you will discover the latest treatments optometrists use to help cure a patient’s crossed eyes.