When your conjunctiva – thin, clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye – becomes inflamed, you have a condition commonly referred to as pink eye or red eye (conjunctivitis).
Conjunctivitis is a common eye condition that anyone can contract, especially children. It can affect one or both eyes and, depending on the type you have, it can be highly contagious.
There is an increased likelihood of being exposed to the contagious versions of conjunctivitis for those who are in close proximity of others (schools, daycare, etc.).
What Are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis?
If you have conjunctivitis you may experience a combination the following symptoms:
- Sandy or gritty feeling
- Excessive tearing
- Itching or burning sensation
- Thick, yellow discharge crusting over your eyelashes
- Increased light sensitivity
- Red/pink inner eyelid or whites of your eye
- Blurry vision
How Are the Different Types of Conjunctivitis Treated?
The type of conjunctivitis you have will dictate the appropriate course of treatment for your particular case. A proper assessment and diagnosis by one of our Optometrists will be necessary to confirm the treatment required.
Types of Conjunctivitis
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is treated with an antibiotic regimen. This may include eye drops, medicated ointments, or oral medication. Bacterial conjunctivitis is contagious and can be transferred through direct contact with infected hands or objects that have touched the eye.
- Viral Conjunctivitis – Since the root cause of viral conjunctivitis is a virus, antibiotics have no effect. Much like the common cold, this form of conjunctivitis must run its due course. Because viral conjunctivitis is contagious it is recommended that, in addition to strict personal hygiene, you avoid public places and contact with others.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis – Red eye is a common symptom faced by allergy sufferers. It can be treated by over the counter allergy medications such as eye drops or oral medication.
- Irritants – Things such as air pollution, smoke, shampoo, swimming pool chlorine, or exposure to noxious chemicals. If your pink eye is caused by the more innocuous substances, treatment by thoroughly rinsing your eyes with water for several minutes may suffice.
If an acid or alkaline substance, like household cleaners, is the cause of your conjunctivitis, you will require immediate medical attention to avoid potentially losing your vision.
If you suspect you have conjunctivitis we invite you to book a consult with one of our Optometrists. We are equipped to diagnose and treat all forms of conjunctivitis in a fast and effective manner.
Please let our receptionist know at the time of your booking that you think you have pink eye, as this provides us the opportunity to schedule your appointment as soon as possible.