Most people have heard of the eye condition conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye.” This often contagious eye condition comes in different forms and is most common among children, but proper eye care can help prevent it from occurring. Here, the vision experts at Laser Eye Center™ explain what pink eye is and offer tips on how to avoid it.
Causes Of Pink Eye
There are three main types of conjunctivitis:
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and is caused by the same virus that causes the common cold. The condition usually resolves itself within a few days without the need for medical treatment. The most common symptom of this form of conjunctivitis is a watery mucous discharge.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacteria and usually causes a red or pink eye with pus. The infection can usually be treated by prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments. If left untreated, this form of conjunctivitis can cause serious eye damage.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by common eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander. This form is not contagious, but those who are allergic to certain eye irritants may experience seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
In some cases, a red or pink eye can be a symptom of another eye condition besides conjunctivitis. If you notice any unusual symptoms in or around your eyes, you should contact your eye doctor right away.
Anyone can contract conjunctivitis, but those who spend the day in close proximity to others, like school children, teachers and college students, are especially at risk. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from pink eye:
- Do not share washcloths, tissues or eye makeup and brushes.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Don’t rub or touch your eyes.
- Never share contacts with anyone.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wear goggles when swimming to shield your eyes against bacteria in the water.
- If you suffer from seasonal allergies, visit your doctor for tips on how to minimize symptoms before the start of allergy season.
- If you or your child contract viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, it’s important that the condition is resolved before returning to school or work. Returning before the infection has cleared risks spreading it to others.
Contact Laser Eye Center™
To learn more about how to take care of your eyes and vision, schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable eye doctors. Please call us today at 800-80-LASER (52737).