Pink Eye 2020-12-09T09:51:09-05:00

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is the inflammation or infection of the eye

This common eye condition usually causes redness, itching and a crusty discharge on your eyelashes
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Pink eye can be embarrassing and uncomfortable

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Symptoms of pink eye

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Inflamed eyelids
  • Blurred vision and a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eyes
  • Pus-like or watery discharge around the eyelids
  • Matting of the eyelids

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye.

The conjunctiva has many small blood vessels. It lubricates and protects the eye while the eye moves in the orbit. When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, this is called conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be due to a variety of causes, including viral infections, bacterial infections, allergies, and eye drop medications.

Viral conjunctivitis typically causes swelling of the eyelid, itchiness, foreign body sensation, and tearing. It usually begins in one eye and spreads to the other eye. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious and can be easily transmitted by rubbing the eye and then infecting household items such as towels or handkerchiefs. It is common for entire families to become infected.

We can typically diagnose conjunctivitis through an eye exam.

There are no antiviral medications currently available to treat the most common form of viral conjunctivitis. We may recommend cool compresses, frequent artificial tears or ointment and sometimes other drops to relieve some of the symptoms. Viral conjunctivitis usually takes a couple of weeks to clear completely. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotic eye drops. Allergic conjunctivitis is treated with antihistamine eye drops.

How can conjunctivitis be prevented?

You can take certain precautions to prevent viral conjunctivitis and to stop its spread. Careful washing of the hands, the use of clean towels and pillowcases, the avoidance of contagious individuals are all helpful.

Children frequently get conjunctivitis because of their close contact with other school children.

If you or someone in your household has contracted conjunctivitis, follow these steps to prevent the spread of the infection:

  • Every time you touch your eyes or face, including when using medicine in your eye(s), wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Wash any clothing touched by infected eyes, including clothes, towels and pillowcases.
  • Do not share make-up. If bacteria or a virus causes the infection, you must throw away your used make-up and buy new make-up.
  • Do not touch the infected eye because the infection will spread to the other eye

Who can get pink eye?

Anyone can get pink eye. However, children are more prone to it because, at school, they come in close contact with many others.

How long does pink eye last?

Anywhere between 4 to 15 days, depending on the intensity of the viral/bacterial infection and how promptly you start medical treatment.

Is there a single remedy for all types of red-eye?

No. The pink-ness is a symptom. If it is an allergy, the doctor will prescribe you antihistamines. If it is a bacterial infection, you will need antibiotics. STDs like herpes will require a completely different course of treatment

Should I visit a doctor?

Yes. It might not be serious but get a medical opinion regardless because the inflammation could have been caused due to other reasons. Situations, where you should immediately go to the doctor, are if your newborn gets pink eye or if your infection persists beyond three weeks.

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Academic resources on dry eye

FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THIS TREATMENT FROM AUTHORITATIVE SOURCES

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, dry eyes can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort, fewer dry eye symptoms, and sometimes sharper vision. Click here to read on.

Even when you’re happy, your eyes are full of tears. They provide moisture and lubrication to help you see and keep your peepers comfortable. Click here to read on.

Dry eye syndrome is caused by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Consequences of dry eyes range from subtle but constant eye irritation to significant inflammation and even scarring of the front surface of the eye. Click here to read on.

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Dr. Bennett Chotiner
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MEDICAL DIRECTOR, GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY, LASIK SURGERY

Dr. Bennett Chotiner is the founder and medical director of Memorial Eye Institute. A noted innovator, in 1977 he established his clinical practice, the Pennsylvania Eye Associates. In 1984, he established the Pennsylvania Eye Surgery Center, Pennsylvania’s first …

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Dr. Erik A Chotiner
M.D., F.A.C.S.

GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY, LASIK SURGERY

Erik Chotiner, M.D. diagnoses and treats a wide range of medical eye conditions. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Chotiner attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received multiple awards including the Physiology Prize for …

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Dr. Richard M. Kowalski
Dr. Richard M. KowalskiO.D
Dr. Kowalski is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations and contact lenses…

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Dr. Kenneth H. Levin
Dr. Kenneth H. LevinM.D.
Dr. Levin is a specialist in cataract surgery, glaucoma and general ophthalmology

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Dr. Bradford K. Sgrignoli
Dr. Bradford K. SgrignoliD.O
Dr. Sgrignoli is a specialist in retina and vitreous disease & surgery, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy…

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Dr. Michael J. Silvetti
Dr. Michael J. SilvettiO.D
Dr. Silvetti is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations, contact lenses and low vision consultations…

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Dr. Katherine Won
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