Diagnosis and Treatment of Pink Eye
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an irritation or infection of the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and the whites of the eyes. Often, a person may wake up with pink eye seemingly out of the blue. If you suspect pink eye, book an appointment at Dunedin Eye Care in Dunedin for diagnosis and treatment.
What Causes Pink Eye?
There are several different reasons why a person may develop pink eye. They include:
- Viruses - Viral infections, such as the common cold or flu, can cause pink eye.
- Bacteria - Bacterial infections can cause pink eye, and they can be more severe than viral infections.
- Irritants - Pink eye can also be caused by exposure to irritants, such as smoke, chemicals, or even chlorine from swimming pools.
- Allergens - Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by exposure to things like pollen, dust, pet dander, or certain foods.
- Blocked tear ducts - Pink eye can develop from blocked tear ducts.
- Contact lenses - Wearing contact lenses too long or wearing dirty contacts can cause pink eye.
- Symptoms of Pink Eye
- Redness or pinkness in the eye
- Eyelid swelling
- Itchy or burning sensation
- Watery or thick, sticky discharge
- Excess light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Feeling like something is in the eye
- Crusty eyelids or eyelashes
Note that a person with pink eye may not exhibit all of these symptoms. The underlying cause of pink eye determines which symptoms may appear. Self-diagnosis is not possible. Only your eye care provider can accurately diagnose pink eye.
Diagnosing Pink Eye
Your Dunedin optometrist will give you an eye exam if you think you have pink eye. You’ll be asked questions about your recent activities, when symptoms first appeared, and more. The doctor may take a sample of the discharge to examine it for bacteria. If pink eye is diagnosed, your eye doctor will be able to provide treatment.
Treatment for Pink Eye
Treatment for pink eye typically helps to start clearing the condition in a short time, sometimes as little as 24 hours. However, you should continue the treatment as directed, even if outward symptoms have disappeared. Because of the underlying causes of pink eye, it’s important to finish treatment so the condition doesn’t flare up again. Treatment for pink eye may include one or more of the following:
- Prescription lubricating eye drops
- Cold or hot compress
- Antibiotic ointment
- Eye flushes
- Steroid-based eye drops
- Oral antibiotics for severe cases
Note that the treatment for pink eye varies according to the underlying cause.
Contact Dunedin Eye Care in Dunedin, FL
If you or a loved one suspects pink eye, visit Dunedin Eye Care in Dunedin, FL right away. Swift diagnosis and treatment can prevent the infection from worsening and developing into something more serious. Call us today at (727) 733-0443 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.