Acute Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, also commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacterial infection, viral infection or an allergic reaction. Viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious and spread easily, which makes prevention of pink eye very important.
What are the symptoms of Conjunctivitis?
The most common symptoms of pink eye include:
• Redness, itchiness, and/or gritty feeling in one or both eyes
• Thick yellow or green discharge (sign of a bacterial infection)
• Thin or clear discharge from the eye (sign of a viral or allergic reaction)
• Eyes are extremely painful and sensitive in the light
• Eyes stuck shut when you wake up in the morning
While pink eye can be irritating, it rarely causes long-term effects on your vision. However, it is important to seek medical attention and treatment in order to confirm that the symptoms are not due to more serious problem. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, you can help to limit its spread.
How is Acute Conjunctivitis Diagnosed?
Acute Conjunctivitis is normally diagnosed based on physical exam and history. It can also sometimes be difficult to diagnose without doing laboratory testing. Although not routinely done, your doctor may collect a sample of eye discharge from the infected eye and send it to the laboratory to help them determine which form of infection you have and how best to treat it.
How is Acute Conjunctivitis Treated?
Acute Conjunctivitis is often treated with antibiotics, antiviral medication, or a medicated eye drop. A thorough examination can determine if you need medication and what kind will work best for your infection. For at home comfort, gently apply a cool or warm compress on the eye area and make sure you do not touch it to keep the infection from spreading.