Our eye’s conjunctiva contains numerous but tiny blood vessels and produces enough mucus to keep the eye’s surface protected and moist at all times. But when our conjunctiva gets swollen or irritated, our blood vessels that seems invisible becomes increasingly prominent, thus making our eyes to appear pink or red, thus the term “pink eye”. The signs and symptoms of pink eye can occur on one or both eyes due to cross infection.
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is the term used to refer to inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva which is described as the thin layer of film that lines the eyelids and sclera of the eyes. There are three types of conjunctivitis according to their causes that are known today and they are the viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis.
The most common type of pink eye is the viral conjunctivitis. The virus responsible for the inflammation of our conjunctiva is also responsible for causing common colds and is known to be very contagious. The symptoms caused by this virus can last for up to one to two week and eventually disappear on their own without treatment. However, the symptoms can cause a lot of eye discomforts, thus a cool compress should be applied for temporary relief.
A bacterial conjunctivitis is also a highly contagious type of pink eye due to presence of bacterial infection which causes the eyes to appear red with a lot of accumulated pus. The bacteria that is commonly responsible for this infection is the Staphylococcus or streptococcus. However, some bacterial conjunctivitis can also produce very less or no discharges at all except for the minimal crusting of eyelashes in the morning. A quick visit and prescription from the eye doctor will be enough to treat the infection.
The allergic conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is generally caused by our body’s reaction against certain irritants or allergens. This type of conjunctivitis is neither contagious nor infectious in any way. This usually occurs after exposure to certain irritants known as allergens such as dust, pollens, air, and chemical sprays. A person with allergic conjunctivitis may experience eye redness, itching, tearing, burning, puffy or swollen eyelids, and enlargement of the blood vessels of the sclera. The treatment of allergic conjunctivitis can include prescription of antihistamines from the eye doctor after proper eye examination.
Majority of conjunctivitis are very easy to treat. However, if the symptoms becomes unmanageable and extends over a period of time, it is important to have our eyes examined by a certified eye doctor such as the Austin Optometrist. Take note that several eye diseases may first suggest simple conditions such as conjunctivitis but in fact, is a another symptom of a more serious eye condition that can result to blindness. So whenever you feel in doubt of your eye condition, be sure to visit your Austin Optometrist as soon as possible.
The eyes are the mirror of the soul, take care of your eyes visit Austin Optometrist for a clearer vision.