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What is Pink Eye?

July 05, 2018
What is Pink Eye?

If your child’s eyes are red, itchy, and oozing – it might be pink eye. It’s one of the most common – about 3 million cases a year – and treatable eye conditions. Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye occurs when the conjunctiva, (the thin, clear tissue that lines the eyelid) becomes inflamed. It can be contagious, so it's important to exercise care if you think your child, or even you, have this condition. Make sure little ones don’t touch or rub their eyes and step up your hand washing.

Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye

Signs of pink eye can vary so look out for some common symptoms:

  • The white of the eye turns red or pink
  • Crusting around the eye, especially in the morning
  • Discharge like pus or mucus from the eye
  • An itching or burning sensation
  • Increased tear production
  • The feeling that there is a foreign object in the eye
  • Swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • Contact lenses that don’t stay in place or are uncomfortabl
Causes and Treatment of Pink Eye

There are many things that cause pink eye. A virus, bacteria, allergens like dust or mites, or even irritants like soap or shampoo can all be culprits. The most common types of pink eye are contagious, so make an appointment with your doctor or visit urgent care if you're experiencing pink eye symptoms. If the doctor diagnoses a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye drops or ointment are usually prescribed. In severe cases, a sample may be taken from the liquid draining from the eye.

Preventing Pink Eye

Both viral and bacterial pink eye are highly contagious, so it’s important to try to limit its spread. Some things you can do include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t touch or rub your eyes
  • Don’t share eye drops, contact lens solution, makeup or makeup brushes
  • Clean your eyeglasses and cases; replace your contacts (if possible) and contact lens case
  • Avoid sharing pillowcases, blankets, towels and any other linens that might come in contact with your eyes

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/about/symptoms.html

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-conjunctivitis#1