If you’re experiencing eye irritation, it might be due to a common eye condition known as conjunctivitis. What is this condition, and how do you know if you have it? Our team at AssureVision answers these questions and more below.
What exactly is conjunctivitis?
The eyeball has a thin, clear tissue called the conjunctiva on it. It sometimes becomes inflamed due to bacteria, an allergic reaction, or a viral infection that typically makes the eye pink. This is known as conjunctivitis or – more commonly – pink eye.
What are the symptoms?
Aside from the white part of the eye turning pink or red, conjunctivitis also leads to symptoms such as:
• Discharge or mucus or pus, which often causes crusty lashes or eyelids
• Eye irritation, burning, or itchiness
• Producing more tears than usual
What should I do if I notice the symptoms?
Visit your eye doctor as quickly as possible. Early treatment is the best way to minimize your discomfort and begin healing. Your eye doctor will determine what is causing your conjunctivitis and recommend the best course of treatment.
How long does conjunctivitis last?
It can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The length depends on how early you begin treatment and what’s causing it. For example, a viral infection might take longer to clear up than an allergic reaction.
Is it contagious?
If it is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, then yes, it is contagious. Allergic reactions, however, are not contagious.
How do you stop the spread of conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is spread through contact. Keeping your hands clean – especially before touching your eyes – is the most important step outside of visiting your optometrist. However, if you have children in daycare or school, it might be more difficult to prevent the spread.
Is there anything I can do at home to ease my discomfort?
Yes, but what you can do depends on what the cause is. Allergic conjunctivitis can often be relieved with allergy medications, as well as finding and avoiding the trigger. Viral conjunctivitis can often be eased by laying a cold, damp cloth on the eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically only relieved through antibiotic ointments or drops.
Contact Our Optometrists in Arlington Heights, Barrington, and Glenview
Don’t let conjunctivitis interfere with your life. Start healing today by making an appointment with our team at AssureVision. You can reach our Arlington Heights office at (847) 368-9999, our Barrington office at (224) 407-2020, or our Glenview office at (847) 724-2020.