Conjunctivitis is often known as pink eye. Conjunctivitis occurs when there’s an infection in the outer membrane of your eyeball. Vessels in your eye become inflamed. This is what gives your eye the red or pink color.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Closeup pinkeye (conjunctivitis) infectionIt’s important to know the signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be spread two weeks after you first notice symptoms. It’s highly contagious. Be sure to wash your hands frequently to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Red Eyes in One or Both Eyes
  • Discharge
  • Watery Eyes
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Gritty Feeling
  • Increased Tears
  • Crusty Eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Burning

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

Viruses

Conjunctivitis caused by viruses is often the same viruses that cause the common cold. If you have conjunctivitis caused by a virus, it’s still highly contagious.

Bacteria

Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is often the same bacteria that causes staph infections and strep throat. If you have conjunctivitis caused by bacteria, it’s still highly contagious.

Allergies

Allergies are sometimes the cause of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies can be from pollen, animals or dust. People who wear contacts often have issues with allergic conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies isn’t contagious, but it’s hard to diagnose this type of pink eye. A good indication to tell if you have this type of pink eye is if you have hay fever. If you have hay fever with your pink eye, there’s a good chance that allergies are the cause.

Irritants & Chemicals

Shampoo, dirt, smoke, pool chlorine and other chemicals and irritants can cause conjunctivitis. It’s a good idea to rinse your eyes out with water and put eye drops in them frequently to prevent conjunctivitis from irritants and chemicals.

How is Conjunctivitis Diagnosed?

Your doctor may be able to diagnose conjunctivitis just by asking you a few questions and examining your eyes. Sometimes, they’ll get a tear or fluid sample from your eye so that they can send it to a laboratory for more examination.

pinkeye21How is Conjunctivitis Treated?

Antibiotics for Conjunctivitis

If you have bacterial conjunctivitis, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. Antibiotics can be in the form of eye drops, pills or ointments. Eye drops and ointments will need to be applied in your eye several times a day for several days to clear up the infection. If your doctor prescribes you eye drops or an ointment, you can expect your conjunctivitis to go away in approximately a week. If your doctor prescribes you antibiotics in pill form, they may have to be taken for several weeks, and it may take a while for the infection to go away. If you see improvement, be sure to continue taking the medicine unless your doctor says otherwise.

Pink Eye Virus Treatment

Unfortunately, there isn’t any treatment for viral conjunctivitis. You must let the virus run its course. The virus should go away in approximately four to seven days. If you have blurry vision, be sure to visit your doctor. Rarely, viral conjunctivitis can cause scarring of the cornea.

Hygiene & Rinsing

If your conjunctivitis is caused by irritants or chemicals, simply rinse your eye with water for five minutes. You should begin to see an improvement within four hours.

Pink Eye Medicine

If you think that allergies are causing your conjunctivitis, you should go see your doctor. Claritin and Benadryl can help conjunctivitis caused by allergies. You can go to your local drug store and pick up these medicines without a prescription. Your doctor may prescribe you antihistamine eye drops or anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Final Words

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to take them out of your eye if you have them in. You’ll need to dispose of them. Don’t wear contact lenses again until the infection has completely healed. It’s best to give your eyes a few weeks of rest before you consider putting them back in. If you have used makeup on the infected area, you’ll need to dispose of that too.