Conjunctivitis can be either an irritation or an infection of the membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inside lining of the eyelid. It has become commonly known as "pink eye" due to the significant blood vessel inflammation that can occur. It is a common condition in many forms, but the causes vary.
Allergies and other irritants like air pollution, eye make up, and contact lenses cause irritation conjunctivitis. Infection conjunctivitis has two categories—viral and bacterial. The viral type usually accompanies a cold, fever, sore throat, or flu and is characterized by eye redness and a watery discharge. The bacterial type presents with eye redness, a mucous like discharge, and is usually caused by a staph or strep bacteria.
Some bacterial and viral pinkeye can easily be passed between people, and it is common for children to experience this type of conjunctivitis. The symptoms are generally mild and do not pose a serious threat to eye health, but conjunctivitis in newborns should be addressed by a doctor right away to help ensure no vision loss occurs. If you have any concerns about your child's eye health, speak to a medical professional right away.
Conjunctivitis is treated differently depending on the cause. Most cases can be successfully treated with antibiotics, eye drops, or ointments.
Dr. Most and Dr. Elston are fully trained and equipped to make this type of diagnosis, and can do so during a comprehensive eye exam. In some cases, conjunctivitis can progress to more serious eye condition and vision damage so professional evaluation is important. Once a diagnosis is made, we can discuss any questions you have, and cover treatment options that will work for you.