When we learn that someone has conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it’s more commonly known, it’s reasonable to be concerned about an outbreak. The most important thing to do if you contract any kind of pink eye is to arrange an appointment at our practice so we can give a conclusive diagnosis.
Some forms of conjunctivitis are not contagious, so it’s best to get checked before locking yourself in your room!
Pink eye, as the name suggests, is when the conjunctiva (the clear covering over the white part of your eye) and the skin around your eye becomes irritated and inflamed. The conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissues redden considerably, so the condition is also sometimes known as ‘red eye’.
There are a range of different possible symptoms, including:
In most cases, the condition is simply left to run its course. It is common for people to take antibiotics in attempt to treat allergic or viral conjunctivitis, which will have no effect; that’s why diagnosis is crucial.
Antihistamines or other drugs can be administered to treat allergic conjunctivitis, while antibiotics can be prescribed when a bacterial infection does not clear up within a reasonable timeframe.
More common than the other types of pink eye, this is the most likely to affect large groups of children and spread through schools. It is usually transmitted through hand/eye contact, so it is difficult to avoid. It can be caused by several different types of bacteria.
Much like bacterial conjunctivitis, this type is highly contagious and can quickly infect large populations of people, like schools or large office spaces. It is borne by many common viruses, such as those which cause the common cold or flu.
This is most commonly seen in individuals with seasonal allergies. If you have ever suffered from hay fever, then you have probably endured this type of pink eye. Fortunately, this is not contagious and you can interact with your friends and colleagues as normal, without cause for worry.
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