When it comes to painful disorders, few are as obvious and irritating as pink eye! Pink eye — or Conjunctivitis — is when the white part of the eye (the conjunctiva) becomes inflamed or irritated. The term “pink eye” is a bit of a euphemism here — the eye can appear red or bloodshot.
There are a number of causes, some bacterial, some viral, and some due to allergies, but red, itchy eyes are the most common indicators. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, we recommend you call (916) 258-2751 or contact us online.
In this blog, we’re going to focus on what you’ll experience if you or your child contract pink eye. It’s highly contagious, considering you can pick it up from surfaces or contact through hugs and handshakes. While it’s often mild, serious cases of pink eye can scar the cornea and threaten your sight! This is why at Lincoln Urgent Care, we think it’s important to have one of our medical professionals examine and assess your condition. Don’t leave your eyesight to chance.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
Pink eye has a few consistent characteristics that present themselves for diagnosis:
- Red, itchy eyes
- Weepy or overactive tear ducts
- White or yellow discharge
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Extra sensitivity to light
Are you experiencing one or more of these symptoms? Have they been getting steadily worse within a contracted amount of time? Diagnosis and treatment are both simple and effective.
Will pink eye go away on its own?
According to the CDC, sometimes there are two types of pink eye: viral and bacterial. Depending on the nature of your infection, treatment and healing time vary.
For viral conjunctivitis, expect the infection to last anywhere from seven days to three weeks – or more. Of course, due to the viral nature of this category (similar to herpes simplex), antibiotics are ineffective against the cause. Wearing contacts will add to the irritation. Artificial tears or cold compresses may provide symptomatic relief.
Bacterial pink eye has a shorter span, lasting from a few days to 2 weeks. Again, mild cases won’t always need medical attention, and will eventually fade. But left untreated, pink eye can spread to others, or lead to reinfection.
If you’re suffering from allergic conjunctivitis, the good news is you aren’t contagious! The better news is that you can beat the symptoms by eliminating the allergen! Until the environment is free from the irritant, certain eye drops and antihistamines can alleviate your symptoms.
Do I need to see a doctor for pink eye?
The last thing you want to do is gamble with your vision. If you believe you or someone in your home has contracted pink eye, it’s important that you speak to a medical professional. We recommend you make an appointment to receive on-site evaluation and attention. Our medical staff can advise you on the best ways to handle the symptoms and limit the spread of pink eye to your friends, family, and/or coworkers.
Call us at (916) 258-2751 and set up a time to stop by our Lincoln, CA clinic.