Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is one of the world's most common and most treatable eye conditions. Adults and children alike can contract pink eye, though it occurs more commonly in little ones.
While you may not be able to stop your child from picking up a case of pink eye from school, daycare or the park, you can easily treat it and prevent it from spreading to the rest of your family. Check out the common symptoms of pink eye and steps you can take to contain and treat the condition.
What are the symptoms?
Pink eye is inflammation of the thin, clear tissue that lines the white part of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid. This inflammation makes the blood vessels in the eye more visible, giving the eye a pink or reddish color. Symptoms of pink eye may vary, but they typically include:
- Redness and/or swelling in one or both eyes or inside the eyelids
- Yellow, white, green or clear discharge from one or both eyes that forms a crust overnight that prevents your eye(s) from opening in the morning
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- An increased number of tears in one or both eyes
- Itchiness, irritation and/or burning in one or both eyes
There are several different causes of pink eye, including viruses, bacteria, allergens, and irritants that infect or irritate the eye and lining of the eyelid. However, you can count on the fact that the symptoms of pink eye will usually be the same.
How to treat pink eye
Although it is uncomfortable, pink eye will usually go away on its own, and you can relieve symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops. One of the biggest dangers of pink eye is that it is very contagious when caused by a virus or bacteria. Pink eye can easily and quickly spread from one eye to the other, and from person to person.
If someone in your family has pink eye, make sure that everyone in the home washes their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. All family members should also avoid touching or rubbing their eyes and should refrain from sharing makeup, eyeglasses, or contact lenses and containers.
You may need to seek medical treatment at an urgent care clinic if your symptoms progress beyond those listed above. Parents with infants should see a health care provider immediately if they spot signs of pink eye in their baby.
Visit your neighborhood Immediate Clinic if you have:
- Moderate to severe pain in your eyes
- Intense redness
- Blurred vision
- Symptoms that get worse after 24 hours of using eye drops
The school year has started and preventing the spread of pink eye is more important than ever. Put these prevention tips to good use and contact Immediate Clinic if you or your family members need pink eye treatment. We’re open from 8 am to 8 pm every day, including weekends.