Everyone’s eyes are pink from time to time, whether you got too little sleep or have a bad cold, the whites of your eyes can be pink on occasion. But pink eye is an inflammation of the white part of the eye called conjunctivitis and it is very contagious and irritating. Eyes look bloodshot and red when you have pink eye, but there are several causes for the ailment itself.
Pink Eye Causes
Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, bacteria, or viruses. Viral pink eye comes on because of a virus, like the common cold. This type is contagious, but will clear up within a few days without medical interference. Bacterial pink eye can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated. This type is caused by bacteria and needs a doctor’s attention. Allergic pink eye is caused by irritants like pollen, animal dander, and pollen among people who are susceptible to those allergens. These seasonal flares can come up year-round or during certain seasons.
The first thing anyone will notice about pink eye is usually the appearance of pink in the whites of the eyes. The other symptoms depend on what kind of pink eye you have. With the viral version, the eyes will be watery and itchy along with sensitivity to light. Pink eye could be in one or both eyes and can easily spread with coughs, sneezes, or other contact. Bacterial pink eye sometimes has a sticky, yellow discharge at the corner of the eye. The eyelids might even stick together when you wake up. Pink eye can also be in one or both eyes and is contagious when coming into contact with infected hands. Allergic pink eye isn’t contagious and includes watery, itchy, burning eyes that is accompanied by stuffy or runny noses.
The treatment also depends on what type of pink eye you have. The viral version will run its course over a few days and doesn’t require medical attention unless it worsens. Apply cold washcloths for relief to symptoms and take over the counter medications. Bacterial pink eye will require eye drops, ointments, or other medications from your doctor. Allergic pink eye can be shortened with certain medications or even allergy shots during the right seasons.
Diagnosing Pink Eye Types
Since there are various types of pink eye, you will want to know what kind you have before you try a treatment. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to see your eye doctor to find out. You don’t want any eye infections to damage your vision or cause other issues. Bacterial pink eye can lead to serious eye problems and it is better to treat it right away. Contact Redondo Optometry as soon as you notice any symptoms and get it checked out. For your own well-being, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your vision. If you have viral pink eye, you can rest easy knowing you can treat it at home with ease.