Posts Tagged ‘pink eye’

3 Common Causes of Conjunctivitis

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

NGC 6543: The Cat's Eye Nebula Redux (Also known as the Cat's Eye, this planetary nebula is located about 3,000 light years from Earth.)

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the bulbar conjunctiva (white portion of the eye) and commonly presents with sticky eyelids, watery or mucous discharge, redness, and irritation.  This post will discuss 3 common forms of conjunctivitis and what to do about them.

1.  Viral Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye”

Viral in origin and highly contagious.  Most garden variety forms only last a few days but more virulent forms can have effects that last a month or even longer.  Redness is typically mild giving the eye a pink look.  The eyelids tend to be sticky or matted upon waking and a watery discharge is present throughout the day.

Treatment:  Generally no treatment is required but antibiotic drops are sometimes given to prevent secondary bacterial conjunctivitis.

2.  Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial in origin.  Less contagious than viral forms, but still can be readily spread especially among children who touch and rub their eyes often.  Redness and irritation tend to be more severe producing an eye that is stuck closed upon waking and a mucous discharge throughout the day.

Treatment:  Antibiotic drops.

3.  Allergic Conjunctivitis.

Allergic in nature.  Not contagious.  The trademark symptom is itching, itching, and more itching.  Swelling and redness is generally evident in the eye or lid.  Discharge can be whitish mucous or watery in nature.

Treatment:  Responds to allergy intervention.

Interested in learning more about conjunctivitis?  Come see an optometrist at Gray Family Vision today.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.