Pink Eye Isn't Always Something You Can Treat at Home
Conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye, is a painful, itchy, oozy allergic reaction or viral or bacterial infection of the connective tissue across the eye that spreads very quickly in school-aged children and their families. Inflammation of the blood vessels on the surface of the eye makes them larger so the whites of the eyes look pink. Depending on what is causing your child's pink eye, home remedies may not be enough. Here are a few things pediatric optometrist Dr. Pamela J. Rupnow, OD of Family Vision Clinic Farmington wants you to know about pink eye.
Pink eye is one of the world's most common eye infections.
Just in the USA, between three and six million people every year get pink eye. Pink eye is the reason for about 30 percent of all unscheduled visits to the optometrist. It’s also the cause of about 3 percent of all visits to the ER. When both eyes have pink eye, the cause is usually a virus. When just one eye has pink eye, the cause is more likely to be exposure to an allergen or a chemical irritant.
One of the first signs of pink eye is eyelids that stick together.
One Of the first signs of pink eye is eyelids that stick together. The immune system attempts to isolate the infection with mucus before it tries to remove it from your eyes with inflammation that makes the whites of your eyes turn red.
It's OK to try home remedies for pink eye first.
There are lots of ways to treat pink eye without taking your child to your pediatric optometrist right away. If you suspect your child has allergies, a children's dose of the antihistamine can be given to your child with good results. Of course, allergy treatment is also worth trying when adults have pink eye.
You can relieve the symptoms of pink by placing a warm (not hot!) moist compress on the eye and leaving it there for a few minutes. You can stop the spread of pink eye by making sure that uninfected members of your household don't share towels, washcloths, pillows, soft toys, or bedding with people in your home who don't have pink eye. Making sure you have time for a warm shower every day also helps.
When symptoms of pink eye persist for more than three days, it's time to take your child to your Doctor of Optometry!