Is Your Eye Pink? It May (or May Not) be Pink Eye
Learn more about conjunctivitis (pink eye), and different reasons for why your eye may be pink.
Eyes become “pink” or reddish for many reasons, and not all of them involve an infection. However, they all usually require an examination to determine whether or not they need further treatment. Pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) is often contagious and almost always uncomfortable, so it’s best to get it treated as soon as possible. There are three types of conjunctivitis:
1. Allergic Conjunctivitis
Like other allergic reactions, allergic conjunctivitis is caused by the body’s reaction to allergens. Things like pollen and dander cause itchy, watery eyes, redness and sometimes swelling. Although it looks contagious, it is not, and usually requires either oral or topical antihistamines in order to treat. Patients are advised to not rub their eyes, instead using a cool washcloth as a compress for relief.
2. Viral Conjunctivitis
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. The symptoms can range from redness/small bumps, itching, watery discharge and even a fever or upper respiratory infection. This kind of pink eye often resolves itself after one or two weeks, but patients are advised to socially distance from others, use cool compresses, and sometimes use anti-inflammatory eye drops.
3. Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Bacterial conjunctivitis is also contagious, as it is caused by bacteria that can be spread from person to person. It’s more common in children than adults, and it’s the kind that’s often seen spreading around a classroom or playground. This kind of pink eye involves thicker discharge and swelling than the viral variety, along with crusty red eyes, and the feeling of eyes being glued shut. Treatment can include antibiotics—both oral and antibiotic eye drops.
At Sterling Vision, we treat this common disease quite often, and will listen carefully for your symptoms before looking for signs under a high-powered specialized microscope. A personalized treatment plan will be offered depending on the patient’s type and level, and follow-up appointments will allow us to monitor your progress. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, give us a call. We can often get you into the office on that day for a thorough medical examination.