How Do You Know If You Are Suffering From Pink Eye?

Posted on: 28 December 2022

Do you or someone close to you have what appears to be an infection in the corner of their eye? Could this be "pink eye," and if so, what do you need to know about it? 

Understand The Condition

Pinkeye is the street name for a condition known as conjunctivitis. This involves an inflammation of the membrane that covers the white of your eye and runs along the edge of your eyelid. Within this transparent membrane are tiny blood vessels that can become enlarged when they become infected. This is what gives the white of the eye that unusual colour.

Caused By Bacteria

Typically, pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, although it could also signify an allergic reaction to something. It is possible to treat it but remember, it can be contagious, so ensure that the patient always washes their hands carefully.

It's not unheard of for patients to develop this type of conjunctivitis if they've had a respiratory infection, sore throat or cold. Still, conjunctivitis is not always caused by bacteria or viral infection but could be related to an allergy.

Caused By Allergies

If the patient is suffering from an allergic conjunctivitis outbreak, it will typically affect both eyes rather than one. Here, the body produces antibodies to defend against pollen or other airborne contaminants. These antibodies will cause the cells in the mucous lining of the eyes to release inflammatory histamines. This is what causes pink eye to develop, and the condition may also be very itchy.

How To Treat Bacterial Or Viral Conjunctivitis

If a bacterial infection causes the condition, you may get some relief through eyedrops or by carefully cleaning the area around your eyelids with a damp cloth. Always ensure that the cloth is scrupulously clean, and remember to avoid unwanted contact with any surfaces or, indeed, with other people. There is a risk that the condition could be passed on otherwise.

If you wear contact lenses, you probably need to stop wearing them while the eye recovers. Always disinfect lenses before using them, or change any disposable lenses as the manufacturers recommend.

How To Treat Allergic Conjunctivitis

If an allergy causes the condition, you may be able to get eyedrops specifically for that situation. Try to improve the air conditioning within your home or office by changing filters to see if that can also improve the situation.

What To Do Next

Your first port of call in this situation is a local eye care unit, such as Mordialloc Optical. They'll take a closer look and make sure the condition is not caused by a different eye problem. Get in touch for more advice.