Pink Eye/ Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis – commonly known as “pink eye”, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin, transparent membrane that covers the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye. The conjunctiva will sometimes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergens, irritants and toxins and become irritated. The conjunctiva is normally clear, but when irritation or infection occurs, the lining becomes red and swollen, thus the term "pink eye".
Symptoms of pink eye include:
- Swollen eyelids
- Red, watery eyes
- Sandy or scratchy eyes
- Itching or burning
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Drainage from the eye
- Blurred vision
Different Types of Pink Eye
The two main types of conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are allergic and infectious, each with distinct causes and degrees of seriousness.
Allergic pink eye - is quite common, is caused by an individual’s allergic reaction to an allergen, is not contagious, is typically not serious, and will usually resolve in a few days without medical treatment.
Infectious pink eye - viral and bacterial conjunctivitis is infectious and can be highly contagious and become serious if left untreated.
Poor hand washing is usually the main vehicle for the spread of viral conjunctivitis. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis produces an eye discharge which contains the virus or bacteria. It is then spread through passing that bacteria through physical contact or contact with an item that has had the virus or bacteria transferred to it.
A pus-like or watery discharge around the eyelids usually indicates an infectious form of pink eye. This discharge is caused by the infection and therefore will usually yellow or greenish in color and may be thick or crusty.
To prevent the spread of infectious conjunctivitis:
- Keep your hands away from your eyes
- Wash your hands before and after touching your eyes or face
- Do not use eye make-up until the infection is fully cured, you could re-infect yourself
- Throw away your old make-up if you have used them and buy new products
- Do not share eye make-up, contact lens equipment or eye medication
- Do not wear contact lenses until the infection is cured. Thoroughly clean your contact lenses before wearing them again
- Do not go to work, attend school or day-care, until bacterial conjunctivitis has been treated for 24 hours with an antibiotic, this is usually long enough to kill the bacteria
- Do not go to work, attend school or day-care, or use public swimming pools until symptoms of viral conjunctivitis have begun to improve, which is usually three to five days.
- Seek treatment promptly
Medfast Urgent Care Centers offer fast, professional medical treatment for pink eye. Our average wait time to see patients is less than an hour, compared to Hospital Emergency Rooms, which can sometimes take longer than three to four hours and are much more expensive. We are professionally staffed with highly-skilled, licensed doctors and nurses, and fully equipped to handle testing and treatment for pink eye.