Are your eyes itchy? Do you notice the sclera, the white part of the eyes, having a red tinge? Are you tearing up for no reason or are your eyes feeling gritty? If that is a yes to any or all of the above, you might have pink eye. Read on to find out how to get rid of pink eye.
The most common causes of pink eye are viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Other irritants also include air pollution like smoke and dust, contact lenses, eye makeup and false eyelashes. Of course, microscopic fungi, amoeba and parasites are also factors.
Pink eye or conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that cover the sclera and lines up the inner eyelids gets inflamed or infected. When this happens, the small blood vessels in the conjunctiva becomes more visible which lends its red color the sclera. You are then left with a pink sclera instead of the normal white. While it is irritating and makes you look like you have had a crying jag, it does not affect your vision. However, it is contagious, so it is best to get treatment as soon as possible.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four types of conjunctivitis:
This is the infection of the eye cause by a virus. This type is highly contagious and can cause outbreaks.
The pink eye is caused by certain bacteria. It can spread easily and in certain settings like a day care center. However, children who have pink eye but do not have a fever can still go to school. This type of conjunctivitis is more common in children is observed more often in Spring.
This is more common among people who have allergic conditions like asthma and eczema. You may also experience colds and a sore throat. This type of conjunctivitis is not contagious and is a result of the body's reaction to allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, medicine, or cosmetics.
Irritants such as smoke, fumes, dust, or chemicals are the cause of pink eye. Contact lenses are also are common cause of pink eye especially when the wearer does not remove them for longer periods, or the lenses are not properly cleaned. Again, this is not contagious.
Before rushing off to see a doctor, the CDC shares that it is not always necessary to seek immediate treatment. You can try taking care of it at home first.
To relieve your eyes, you can apply a cold or warm compress and buy artificial tears from the pharmacy. Make sure to keep distance between your eye and the dropper to avoid contamination of your drops.
Always wash your hands and do not share towels, pillows, and sheets with others. Avoid sharing makeup as well. Change your pillowcases as often as you can while you still have pink eye. You can also take over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen if it gets too uncomfortable.
Once you have recovered, throw away any eye makeup you have used when you had pink eye and make sure to wash all your makeup brushes.
Healthline suggests that it is time to visit the doctor when you observe the following symptoms:
Intense pain and pronounced redness in the eye or eyes.
Blurred or affected vision.
Pus and mucus are coming out of your eyes.
Bright light bothers you.
If you have tried home remedies and the pink eye is still around after a week.
It is important to know that when it comes to pink eye in infants, go see a doctor immediately.
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