Pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, or covering of the eyeball and eyelid. This inflammation can lead to redness, tearing, itching, irritation, swollen eyelids, and pain. Pinkeye is a non-medical term usually used to describe a mild case of conjunctivitis caused by a virus or bacteria. Conjunctivitis may also be caused by an allergic reaction or chemical irritation. Pinkeye, when caused by a virus, is highly contagious, and it is common for patients to infect themselves in their other eye. It is critical to seek proper treatment if you believe you are developing pinkeye. For your health, follow these steps below:
Consult a Doctor
Not all eye irritations that cause your eye to be red and teary are pinkeye. You may experience similar symptoms if you are developing a stye, blepharitis (inflammation of the skin along the eyelid), or chalazion (inflammation of the gland along the eyelid). Due to the fact that there are so many other diseases that have similar symptoms, it’s important to be correctly diagnosed. Once diagnosed you’ll be prescribed antibiotics to fight your infection.
Avoid Infecting Others
Viral pinkeye is extremely contagious, so it is important to take precautions in order not to infect others or your other eye. While it’s hard not to rub your infected eye, it is important not to use the contaminated hand to rub your unaffected eye. One simple way to prevent the spread of pinkeye is to wash your hands thoroughly and often, preferably with antiviral soap. Avoid touching your affected eye with your hands—use tissues or wraps instead. When washing your face in the morning, have an additional washcloth to cleanse your affected eye separate from the one you use to clean the rest of your face and body. It is important to then keep that washcloth away from any family members who might unknowingly touch it. To prevent this, wash the cloth as soon as possible in hot water. You should also change your pillowcase every day until the infection heals. All of your washcloths, towels, pillowcases, etc. should be kept separate from others until you are recovered.
Other Ways to Treat Your Pinkeye
You should avoid wearing eye makeup or contacts while you have a pinkeye infection. You can utilize over-the-counter artificial tears to ease the pain and irritation of pinkeye as long as you discontinue use after a couple of days and refrain from sharing your drops with any other members of your household. You can also use a warm washcloth as a heat compress for your eye 3 to 4 times a day. This will help relieve pain and break up the crust that may form around your eyelid.
Now that you know the symptoms and treatment, be sure to take special care if you suspect that you may have a pinkeye infection. If you have any further questions or concerns about pinkeye, be sure to contact us. Set up a consultation visit today.