Although commonly thought of as an eye problem that only children get, people of all ages can get pink eye. It is highly contagious. Many times, it clears up on its own, but not always. At Benefield Eye Care in Gulfport, we would like to look at the facts about this common eye condition.
What is Pink Eye?
Your eyes’ surfaces are called the conjunctiva. When these get infected, you have conjunctivitis or pink eye. The infection causes the little blood vessels in your eyes to swell up, resulting in pink eye due to its pink or red look.
What Causes Pink Eye?
There are many ways that the conjunctiva can become infected, including:
- Bacterial infections
- Blocked tear ducts
- Viral infections
- A chemical getting in the eye
- Something tiny in the eye
The Symptoms of Pink Eye
Pink eye can happen in one or both eyes. The most common symptoms of pink eye are:
- The whites of your eyes become red or pink
- Itchy eyes
- Constantly feeling as if something is in your eyes
- Tearing more than usual
- Discharge builds up on your eyelid as you sleep, making it difficult to open the eye when you wake up.
When to See an Eye Doctor
See an optometrist or ophthalmologist for your pink eye when:
- It does not get better in two days
- It progressively gets worse
- You cannot tolerate normal levels of light
- Constantly blurry vision
- Extreme eye pain
Treating Pink Eye
Treatment depends on the cause. Pink eye caused by viruses may require anti-viral medication. Pink eye caused by allergies requires treatment for the allergies and eye drops to help soothe the eye. Pink eyes caused by a chemical or object in the eyes are treated differently, depending on the individual circumstances.
What Can I Do Now to Help My Pink Eye?
Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Do not wear contacts. Ask your eye doctor or optometrist if you should throw out your disposable contacts, since they may be contaminated.
- Do not wear eye makeup
- Use a cold or warm compress against your closed eye, whichever feels best
- Wash your closed eyelids gently with a wet cloth
- Use artificial tears or eye drops
- Launder all of your towels and bed linens, because your pink eye may be contagious
Contact Our Eye Doctors in Gulfport, MS
If you have questions about pink eye or your child’s pink eye and live in the Gulfport area, contact Benefield Eye Care to book an appointment with one of our eye doctors. Call our team today at (228) 328-0972 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.