Pink eye is also known as conjunctivitis. It is an eye condition that causes inflammation or infection in the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid. It is highly contagious and spreads when someone gets in contact with the eye secretions of an infected person.
- More tears than usual
- Yellow, green, and white discharge over the eyelashes, especially after waking up
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Blurred vision
What are the causes of pink eye?
There are three possible causes of a pink eye:
- Bacterial Infection – Bacterial pink eyes produce more mucus or pus than viral or allergic pink eyes. This can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor.
- Viral Infection – Viral pink eye is common and there is no treatment for the virus. It heals on its own and should go away in a week or so without treatment.
- Allergies – Pink eye caused by allergens. It will continue as long as you’re in contact with the allergen and it is not contagious.
There are some easy home remedies that can help you relieve the pain, itchiness, and redness irrespective of any of the causes mentioned above.
- A cool compress
Inflammation around the eye causes irritation and pain. If you use a cool compress, it can help you reduce inflammation as well as soothe your eyes.
Here are the steps on how to use a compress:
- Soak a clean hand towel in warm or cold water
- Wring out the excess water
- Now, place the damp hand towel over your eyes and leave it for a few minutes
- Remove the towel after a few minutes and wash your hands
NOTE: Remember NOT to use the same hand towel without washing it in hot water. Pink eye is a contagious eye condition that can reinfect the eye.
- Damp cloth clean
Do you find it difficult to open your eyes as your lids are stuck together due to the formation of thick discharge or pus? Are you wondering how to remove the pus that has thickened and formed a crust? Use a warm damp cloth to remove the pus around the eye and lashes.
NOTE: Do NOT use your hands to remove the pus.
- Eye drops
There are some lubricating eye drops also known as natural tears, which can help you soothe the irritation and the burning sensation in your eyes.
- Pain-relieving medication
There are some pain-relieving medications such as ibuprofen that you can apply to minimize the pain and inflammation.
If allergies are the cause of your pink eyes, here are some medications that you can use
- Antihistamine tablets
- Topical eye drops containing antihistamines
- Mast cell stabilizers
How can you STOP spreading Pink Eye?
You can play an important role in stopping the spread of pink eye by following basic hygiene:
- Changing the pillowcases and sheets every day.
- Use a fresh towel every day.
- Washing your hands especially after touching your eyes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses until the eyes are back to normal.
- Avoid sharing anything that touches your eyes.
When should you visit the doctor?
Pink Eye can resolve on its own but sometimes it is best when you seek medical attention.
If you have weak immunity or have a history of eye disease, you should always seek medical attention.
Newborns or infants should consult an ophthalmologist right away and adults should see a doctor if the symptoms last longer than a week.
This post is not intended to be medical advice. Always rely on your medical practitioners on matters related to your health.
Contact New York Ophthalmology at 866-599-8774 or request a consultation to schedule an appointment at one of our 5 locations in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
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