It is common to see signs of pink eye, officially known as conjunctivitis, before experiencing discomfort. An exam from one of our West Des Moines, IA doctors of optometry can quickly provide a diagnosis. Conjunctivitis treatment at our Lock Family Eye Care practice focuses on reducing discomfort and preventing the spread of contagious cases.
What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is a swelling or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent tissue that lines the inner eyelid. This tissue covers the white part of each eye. This disorder is common among youngsters. Some cases are highly contagious. This makes it particularly important to take steps to prevent catching conjunctivitis. Our optometrists note that this disorder could have an allergic, viral, or bacterial cause. These are the most common causes:
- Old makeup or contaminated lotions
- Infections from bacteria
- Allergic reactions to substances such as pollen and smoke
- Some sexually transmitted diseases
- The common cold and other viruses
- A reaction to an object that touches the eye, such as a contact lens
The symptom most often associated with conjunctivitis is the pink look of an affected eye. Other typical signs include:
- A discharging eye
- Eyes that itch or burn
- Oversensitivity to light
- A gritty feeling
- Excessive tear production
- Swollen eyelids
Treatment Options for Pink Eye
When a case of pink eye appears likely to be catching, our practice’s objective is preventing its spread in addition to achieving symptom relief for the patient. Successful treatment to reduce inflammation and discomfort requires professional services in addition to patient efforts. Professional care is necessary to make sure that what begins as a fairly minor medical issue does not turn into a major health problem. The type of conjunctivitis diagnosed dictates the appropriate course of treatment:
- For all types, the patient should avoid touching the eyes.
- When an allergy is a culprit, the patient must avoid exposure to the offending substance. Artificial tears, cool compresses, antihistamines, and NSAIDs typically bring relief.
- Antibiotic drops or ointments are appropriate for bacterial infections.
- A case caused by a virus disappears after a few weeks. Cool compresses and artificial tears bring some relief.
- Saline flushing, sometimes combined with topical steroids, is appropriate for outbreaks caused by chemical irritants.
Schedule an Exam with Lock Family Eyecare in West Des Moines, IA
Avoid unnecessary suffering from conjunctivitis. Our West Des Moines, IA doctors of optometry, Dr. Michael Lock and Dr. Jenessa Lock, have provided treatment to area residents since 2006. Our Lock Family Eye Care practice offers comprehensive vision care for adults and children. Be sure to call us today at 515-267-1312 to schedule an exam. Which steps are you taking to avoid pink eye?