Conjunctivitis (more commonly known as pink eye or red eye) is an infection that everyone has heard of, but no one really knows very much about. Even if you have had conjunctivitis, you may have significant misconceptions about what it is and what kind of treatment it requires.
The best way to protect yourself against infections and eye health problems is to educate yourself about them so you know what to expect and when to seek treatment.
Simply put, this strain is a type of allergic reaction. Sometimes the body mistakenly labels certain stimuli as dangerous. When this happens, the immune system goes on the defensive; attempting to block or flush the stimulus from the body.
Allergic conjunctivitis is often triggered by pollen, pet dander, dust, and other allergens. Typically the patient can minimise their experiences with allergic conjunctivitis by simply avoiding the antigen. If this isn’t possible, antihistamines can be effective.
This strain is caused by foreign bacteria coming into contact with the eye. It’s also not uncommon for a sinus infection to spread, resulting in bacterial conjunctivitis. While it typically starts in one eye, bacterial conjunctivitis is extremely contagious and can easily spread to the other. That’s why it’s very important to throw out any products or cosmetics used on the infected eye and to wash all linens thoroughly.
After you’ve seen an eye doctor, you need to avoid public spaces as much as possible to keep from spreading the infection. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you when you are no longer contagious.
Much like the common cold, influenza, and cold sores, viral conjunctivitis is the result of a viral infection in the eye. In fact, it can be caused as the same viruses responsible for the conditions we have just listed. Like any other viral infection, viral conjunctivitis is contagious and can spread from one side to the other easily.
Although this strain of conjunctivitis usually runs its course without treatment, it is still crucial that you see a doctor to confirm that your case is viral rather than bacterial. After a doctor has formally diagnosed you, stay out of public areas to avoid spreading the virus. Your optometrist will advise as to when you are no longer contagious.
Conjunctivitis symptoms vary from case to case; however, they typically include some combination of the following:
The way conjunctivitis is treated depends entirely on which strain the patient has contracted. While allergic conjunctivitis symptoms can be alleviated by antihistamines, bacterial conjunctivitis requires antibiotics.
Because the treatment varies from strain to strain, it’s crucial that you see a doctor for an official diagnosis. Only a medical professional can accurately diagnose your particular strain of conjunctivitis. From there, they will recommend the appropriate course of treatment or home remedy.
Airdrie Family Eye Doctors are located on main street south of the Tower Lane Mall Safeway. Come “see” us today! Or, feel free to call our clinic phone number.
Suite 600, 705 Main St S
Airdrie, AB T4B 3M2