Pink Eye

Vision Professionals of Leawood Treats Pink Eye

The term “pink eye” may refer to one of several different eye conditions. Known as conjunctivitis in the medical world, pink eye can result from an infection or from other eye conditions. It’s important to treat pink eye, especially the infectious type, to prevent it from causing damage or spreading to other people. Here are the basics on pink eye, courtesy of your optometry specialists at Vision Professionals of Leawood, in Leawood, Kansas.

woman suffering from pink eye

What is Pink Eye?

The clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelid is called the conjunctiva. Although transparent, it contains many small blood vessels that overlay the surface of the white, or sclera, of the eye. When irritated or inflamed, the blood vessels dilate, making them clearly visible and giving the conjunctiva its characteristic appearance. The red, bloodshot eyes may be accompanied by other symptoms such as watering or itching.

Pink Eye Causes

Pink eye typically results from an infection or irritation. The most common causes are:

  • Viral conjunctivitis highly contagious, this infection is caused by a virus similar to those that cause the common cold.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis another contagious form of pink eye, but caused by bacteria.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis eye irritants such as pollen, animal dander or dust are the cause in this case.
  • Neonatal conjunctivitis affects newborns; caused by an untreated sexually transmitted infection in the mother.
  • Giant papillary conjunctivitis caused by irritation from contact lenses.
  • Non-infectious conjunctivitis caused by irritants such as air pollution or smoke.

Pink Eye Symptoms

Although all cases of conjunctivitis result in the characteristic reddened eyes, other symptoms vary. Viral conjunctivitis causes itchy, water eyes and sensitivity to light. Bacterial conjunctivitis is accompanied by a yellow or greenish yellow eye discharge that can stick the eyelids together when you first wake up. These types of pink eye are contagious and can affect one or both eyes. Other types of conjunctivitis can cause burning, watering and light sensitivity in both eyes; additional symptoms may include a runny nose or stuffiness.

Treating Pink Eye

Viral conjunctivitis will usually resolve on its own after a few days, but warm wet compresses can make you more comfortable. Antibiotic drops or ointments are usually needed for bacterial conjunctivitis. Pink eye caused by allergies and irritations are treated by removing the offending substance or managing symptoms. It’s important to schedule an optometry appointment at the first sign of pink eye, as untreated bacterial conjunctivitis can cause permanent eye damage.

Contact Vision Professionals of Leawood in Leawood, KS!

If you have pink eye symptoms, stop wearing contact lenses immediately and be extra careful about hand washing. Contact Vision Professionals of Leawood at 913-246-5055 we will see you that day at our office, located at 5020 W.135th Street in Leawood, Kansas, and get treatment started.

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