Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention

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Conjunctivitis is a common eye condition. However, allergic conjunctivitis can be seasonal. Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye is an infection of the eye’s conjunctiva that is caused by a bacteria or a virus. This infection causes redness, pain, and itchiness. In other words, pink eye is an inflammation of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It’s a minor infection and although it might look bad, usually isn’t serious. It can affect one eye at first but usually affects both eyes after a few hours.

What Causes Pink Eye?

First, to be able to understand its causes, we need to know that there are 3 kinds of this infection with 3 main causes:

Allergic Conjunctivitis

This occur when someone was exposed to a substance that triggers an allergic reaction into their eyes. One type of allergic conjunctivitis is Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis. This type of pink eye could develop when a foreign presence entered the eyes like contact lenses.

Infectious Conjunctivitis

An infection most often caused by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria from your own skin or respiratory system is Bacterial conjunctivitis. For instance, what causes this can be from touching the eyes with unclean hands and sharing makeup and wearing contact lenses that are not your own.

The most commonly caused by contagious viruses associated with the common cold is Viral Conjunctivitis. Since the tears drain into the nasal passageway, forceful nose blowing can cause a virus to move from your respiratory system to your eyes.

Chemical Conjunctivitis

Irritants like air pollution and chlorine in swimming pools can cause Chemical Conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

  • The pink or red color in the white of the eye/s
  • Swelling of the eyelid/s
  • Increased tear production
  • Itching, irritation, and/or burning
  • Discharge from the eye/s

Depending on the cause, other symptoms may occur.

Pink Eye Treatments

The symptoms often clear up within a couple of weeks, that is why treatment isn’t usually needed. However, if it is deemed necessary, the recommended treatment for pink eye depends on what caused it.

See your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Disturbed vision
  • Intense redness in one eye or both eyes
  • A newborn baby with conjunctivitis
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