Posted on: 28 September 2016Share
Pink eye, medically known as conjunctivitis, is a common and very contagious disease. The good news is that it's easy to treat. If you have children, chances are someone in the home has been exposed to it at least once because it is that common. Here's all you need to know about pink eye, the treatments, and prevention tips.
It Comes in Three Forms
You could suffer from three different types of conjunctivitis: viral, bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis. The first form is usually due to a cold and doesn't often need medication. In fact, it can't always be treated with medication, as the body naturally needs to fight against the virus. The second form can cause damage and needs antibiotics to treat. This usually has discharge, and can lead to the eyes sticking together overnight. The third form is caused through the irritation of allergens. Both eyes will be affected and it isn't contagious.
Children Suffer From It the Worst
Many children suffer from bacterial pink eye due to the fact that it is so contagious. This is often because children have lax hygiene and are more likely to rub their eyes or touch their faces. Adults know more about how infections are passed on, so are more likely to be proactive about preventing viruses and diseases spreading.
Teaching children about hygiene and preventing diseases spreading is the best way to prevent pink eye. You can also go around the home with antibacterial wipes and ensure your child washes his/her hands regularly.
Common Symptoms Include Itchiness
The condition has many symptoms, one of those being itchiness. Children are more likely to rub without thinking, and this can make the infection worse. The best thing a child or adult with this condition can do is avoid rubbing his/her eye and seek medical treatment.
Other symptoms include a feeling of grit in the eye, discharge (watery or yellow in color), inflammation, burning sensations and blurry vision. Pink coloring in the eye is another symptom, which is where conjunctivitis gets its nickname from.
Treatment for Conjunctivitis
Seeking help from your pediatrician is the best process for treatment. The exact condition will be diagnosed and a cream or drops can be prescribed in the event of bacterial pink eye. Considering how contagious pink eye is, it is not uncommon for doctors to prescribe treatment without even seeing the patient in order to avoid spreading pink eye to other patients.
When it is virus or allergen related, soothing the eyes with cold compresses is beneficial to help take away the burning sensation. Whichever type of pink eye, you can also treat by soaking cotton wool in lukewarm water and washing the eyes. Make sure you use only one cotton wool ball once to prevent the infection passing back into the eyes.
Pink eye is very common but is also easily treatable. Look out for the symptoms and book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.