Pinkeye (often called conjunctivitis) is when an infection or allergies irritate the conjunctiva. The eyes become red and swollen, and sometimes produce a sticky discharge. You can get this condition in one or both eyes. Some types of pink eye are very contagious (easily spread from person to person).
There are three main types of conjunctivitis
1. Viral conjunctivitis.
Viral conjunctivitis is the most common type of conjunctivitis. It is caused by the same virus that causes the common cold. This conjunctivitis is very contagious and is often spread in schools and other crowded places. It usually causes burning, red eyes and watery discharge.
2. Bacterial conjunctivitis
This is a very contagious bacterial infection. And its symptoms are pain, red eyes and lots of sticky pus.
3. Allergic conjunctivitis
Allergic conjunctivitis is a type of conjunctivitis that comes from an allergic reaction to something. It is not contagious, but it makes the eyes very itchy, red and watery, and the eyelids may become inflamed.
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Treatment of Pinkeye
In general, treating pinkeye depends on the type you have.
If it was caused by a viral infection
There is no specific treatment for this type of conjunctivitis. The body fights the virus on its own. A cold wet cloth may be placed on the eyes to relieve discomfort.
If it was caused by a bacterial infection
In this case, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. Antibiotics do not treat an infection caused by a virus or an allergy.
If conjunctivitis is due to allergies
Most commonly, you will be advised to use eye drops to relieve itching and swelling. Sometimes conjunctivitis can be caused by a chemical or other substance in the eye. In this case, flush the eye to rid it of the substances. You may be instructed to use certain types of eye drops or eye ointments.
Conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own in 1-2 weeks. If symptoms last longer, you should see your ophthalmologist. He or she will be able to confirm if you have a more serious eye problem.
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How to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis
Some pinkeye is contagious. Follow these tips so you don’t infect others or re-infect yourself.
- Use a clean washcloth or washcloth every time you wash your face and eyes.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Always wash your hands before and after eating, when using the bathroom, or after sneezing or coughing.
- Try not to touch your eyes. If you do, wash your hands right away.
- Bacteria can live in makeup. This can cause you to get pinkeye and even a dangerous corneal infection. Do not wear makeup while your eyes are infected. Change your makeup if you have an eye infection. And never share makeup with others.
- Be sure to clean contact lenses exactly as your eye doctor recommends.
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