Just the name alone can strike fear into the hearts of anyone who hears it – ‘pink eye’ is that dreaded condition that causes the eyes to become red and sticky, and makes the sufferer feel like they want to scratch their eyes out such is the irritation that is felt. It is contagious and not many people are able to escape its attention throughout their lifetime. In Thailand, it is said that should you simply ‘look’ at someone with this condition; you will contract it from them!
The Three Types
There are three forms of conjunctivitis out there and if you or someone you know is suffering from conjunctivitis, it is a good idea to find out exactly which form you have contracted. Take a look at the three types as below:
Viral pink-eye – This one extremely contagious and can spread very easily through contact to your friends and family. It is caused by a virus like the common cold or flu and luckily, although contagious, it does tend to clear up on its own with no medical treatment after several days.
Bacterial pink eye – It is, once again, very contagious. Caused by bacteria, if left untreated for too long, this type of conjunctivitis can cause severe damage to your eye. Regardless of whichever type you suspect it may be, a trip to the doctor is a must, just to be on the safe side. Antibiotics are the best treatment for bacterial infection on the eyes.
Allergic pink eye – It is not contagious and tends to be caused by irritants like pollen, animal hair and dust. This type only affects those who are sensitive to the aforementioned irritants and may be a seasonal occurrence.
The Symptoms and Treatment
Once you realize you have conjunctivitis the first thing you should do is check your eyes to ascertain the type of conjunctivitis you have, and this can be done by looking for the specific symptoms of each particular condition.
Viral – If you have viral conjunctivitis, your eyes will be watery, itchy and be extra sensitive to light.
Bacterial – Easily detectable, bacterial infection causes a green or yellowish discharge to collect at the corner of the eyes. When you suffer from this type of conjunctivitis, upon waking, you may discover that it is very difficult to open your eyes, due to a build-up of this discharge.
Allergic – Often accompanied by other allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose and coughing, this one causes the eyes to be itchy red and sometimes swollen.
As you can see, there are several different types of conjunctivitis with many different causes. It is important that you are able to identify the types you are dealing with in order to be able to properly determine the best pink eye remedies. Within the infectious category of conjunctivitis, viral one just needs to run its course while bacterial one will require antibiotics. And, within the non-infectious category most can be taken care of with lots of clean water unless it’s a situation of underlying disease. If it is underlying disease, however, the condition will be very very persistent. You will know when it’s time to see a doctor.