Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye
19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 400 Huntington Beach, California 92648
When the clear membrane (conjunctiva) that covers the white part of the eye becomes red and inflamed, most likely it is one of the three types of conjunctivitis.
Viral Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes causing heavy watering of the eyes and a light discharge. Viral Conjunctivitis is contagious and is not treated with antibiotics as in other viral conditions. It will clear up on its own within a few days or weeks.
Allergic Conjunctivitis usually affects both eyes with symptoms of tearing, itching and redness and is not contagious.
It may be associated with other allergy symptoms such as a congested runny, itchy nose. Allergic conjunctivitis is usually caused by allergens of the environment, dust mites, smoke or many other irritants. It will usually heal itself when eliminating the irritant. Over the counter antihistamine tablets may help. There are also allergy eye drops that your eye doctor may prescribe is some cases.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis can also affect one or both eyes and is contagious. Symptoms are usually a heavy discharge and crusty eyelids. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are often prescribed for the treatment of Bacterial Conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is a very common and effectively treatable eye condition, and in most cases not sight-threatening.
Washing hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or using hand sanitizer can help avoid spreading conjunctivitis to others. Also, avoid touching your eyes to avoid spreading to others. Keeping surfaces very clean and not sharing personal items such as washcloths, towels, and bedding, cosmetics, eye drops, glasses, contact lenses and commonly touched surfaces in the home are very important to avoid spreading conjunctivitis to others.
In most cases schools will not allow a student with conjunctivitis to attend school as long as redness is still present in the student’s eyes.