See an Online Doctor For Pink Eye

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a condition in which the conjunctiva, i.e., the thin layer of clear tissue that covers the whites of the eye, is inflamed. This membrane also lines the eyelid. The infection causes blood vessels in the membrane to become inflamed, making them more visible than usual. The inflammation, therefore, makes the eyes appear pinkish hence the term “pink eye.”

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Although not particularly harmful, pink eye can feel very uncomfortable and is highly contagious. It can affect both adults and children, including babies.
People may contract the infection through another affected person, or it may be caused by some other factors. Most of the time, it can be managed with treatments and an early diagnosis.

Types of Pink Eye

Different kinds of causes can result in different types of pink eye. Some are more common than others because of being more contagious.

Viral Strains

Viral strains are highly contagious and also the most common type. They start from one eye and cause a watery discharge and tears. But they also tend to spread to the other eye in a few days. They may also cause a swollen lymph node under the jawbone or near the ear.

Allergic Types of Pink Eye

Allergic types are less severe, but cause itching, tearing, and redness in both eyes. Some people may also experience a runny, itchy nose with this type of pink eye.

Bacterial Strains

Bacterial strains tend to get very messy due to the large quantity of pus and mucus building up. They usually occur and stay in one eye but in some cases, can affect both eyes.

Ophthalmia Neonatorum

This is a very severe type of pink eye that occurs in newborns. It’s caused by fairly harmful bacteria and can result in permanent eye damage—even blindness—if left untreated.  

Giant Papillary

This is much like an allergic reaction to a chronic foreign element or body in the eye such as contacts or an ocular prosthesis (artificial eye) that can occur with long-term use.

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Causes of Pink Eye

As stated in the previous section, different kinds of conjunctivitis can be caused by different factors that cause the blood vessels to become inflamed.
Some of the most common causes are:

  • Viruses — From a common cold to coronavirus, pink eye can be caused by a variety of viruses.
  • Bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and others
  • Foreign objects not removed timely
  • Irritants like cosmetics, contact lenses, shampoo, smoke, and pool chlorine
  • Allergens including pollen, molds, etc.
  • Incompletely open tear duct or a blocked one in babies
  • STIs caused by a virus such as herpes simplex or a bacterial infection like chlamydia
  • Fungi, parasites, or amoebas

What Does Pink Eye Look Like? —Symptoms

Almost all types of pink eye are easily recognizable due to a large number of very apparent symptoms. Here’s what one should be looking for if you suspect a pink eye infection.

  • Visible redness in the white part of the eye or even the inner eyelid
  • More tears than usual
  • In cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, yellow discharge may appear—it’s thick and crusts over the lashes
  • White or green discharge
  • Itchy and gritty sensation
  • A burning feeling in the eyes
  • Light hurting the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen eyes
  • An urge to rub the infected eye
  • Contact lenses not staying in place (due to inflammation of the conjunctiva)

A person who contracts pink eye may experience some or all of these symptoms. Some symptoms may appear at the beginning of the infect and some may appear much later.

Managing Pink Eye Symptoms at Home

Pink eye can be irritating, and symptoms can last up to 2 to 3 weeks. But there are some simple ways to relieve them.

  • Wash hands often with soap but avoid putting them near the eye area
  • Don’t share any bed and bath accessories. Wash and change the ones you’re using every day while the infection lasts
  • Clean the infected eye and remove any discharge using water and cotton pads
  • Do not rub or touch the infected area with bare hands
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses during the infection period
  • Avoid sharing makeup, eyedrops, or contacts. Keep all eye accessories clean
  • Use warm compresses for the pain and to remove stubborn bits of crust
  • Use eyedrops with doctor’s guidance
  • Don’t use a patch on the eye—let it breathe
  • Keep infected eyes protected from foreign bodies like dirt, makeup particles, invasive sunlight, and wind

Common FAQs Related to Pink Eye and Its Treatment

Why is Pink Eye Called “Pink” Eye

Conjunctivitis or what’s more commonly known as pink eye is a condition that causes the blood vessels in the eye’s membrane to become swollen. This makes them unusually more visible. Giving the eye a pinkish effect, hence the name, Pink Eye.

What Isn’t Pink Eye but Looks Like It?

Seasonal allergies, iritis, a sty, or inflammations like chalazion or blepharitis all cause red, swollen, and irritated eyes—just like a pink eye infection—but these conditions have different causes and aren’t contagious.

How Does Pink Eye Spread?

Pink eye can spread from the transfer of the virus or bacteria. It could spread if a person touches their infected eye and proceeds to shake hands with another person, who touches their own eye. Or it can spread by touching contaminated surfaces or by using old and unclean makeup products.
Sharing anything isn’t advice during a pink eye infection.

How Long Am I Contagious?

Pink eye contracted due to bacteria is contagious for as long as the symptoms last or about 24 to 48 hours of antibiotic treatment. Viral conjunctivitis is contagious as long as symptoms last and in some cases, it’s contagious before the first symptoms even appear.
But if your pink eye is caused by an allergy, it’s likely not contagious.

Can I Go to School or Work with A Pink Eye?

Pink eye is just as contagious as the common cold and usually not very dangerous, so it’s okay to return to work or send your child to school. But it’s important to maintain great hygiene and limit close contact with other people while you’re still contagious.

How Can the Medical Experts at TelMDCare Help You with Pink Eye?

Most of the time, conjunctivitis clears up on its own and is fairly harmless. So, our doctors will likely diagnose the type of pink eye and advice on medication and care accordingly.
However, sometimes the pink eye can become more severe and can cause long-lasting damage to the eyesight by scarring the cornea. This is usually in cases of bacterial strains like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Our physician therefore may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection faster.
But since pinkeye typically does take 2 to 3 weeks to cure itself, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment early on so we can help you manage the symptoms.
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