Quick Guide to Dealing with the Dreaded Pink Eye

Woman cryingYou woke up looking forward to the last day of the work week ahead only to find out that your left eye is extremely red when you looked at the mirror. Worst of all, it’s starting to get itchy! You’re starting to speculate that it could be pink eye, like what your co-worker Tim had a week ago. Uhuh. So how are you supposed to finish your tasks at the office today and see your friends afterwards for some tapas and beer. It looks like you’re going to spend the whole weekend holed up at home!

Before you lament about the possibility of an entire weekend watching reruns of Friends and missing all the fun because you can’t afford to go out and have everyone wonder why you’re wearing those sunglasses indoors, here’s a quick guide to making sure that your pink eye-weekend won’t be as dreadful!

Why me?!

First of all, pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or may be a symptom of an allergy. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are both contagious while allergic conjunctivitis may arise from your body’s reaction to an irritant or allergen.

You may acquire conjunctivitis through the following:

  • hand to eye contact through an infected individual’s pink eye discharge
  • spread of the bacteria/virus from the individual’s nose/sinuses
  • lack of hygiene with contact lenses
  • poorly fitting lenses

When You Already Have It

The appropriate treatment for pink eye depends on its cause. Viral conjunctivitis is self-limiting and typically lasts for 1 to 2 weeks while pink eye of bacterial origins may be treated with antibiotic eye drops. In most cases though, it may be difficult to figure out its cause unless a swab of the discharge is done and tested at the lab. Meanwhile, allergic conjunctivitis is treated by identifying the underlying allergen and consequently avoiding it.

Pain and discomfort from conjunctivitis can be relieved by applying cool compresses to the affected area. Moreover, taking steps to reduce passing the bacteria or virus to others is also of utmost importance. Thus, staying at home is certainly a good idea.

You might also want to practice good hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, changing pillowcases often, proper cleaning of contact lenses, and not touching the eyes with your bare hands.

If your pink eye symptoms do not seem to subside and are progressing to blurred vision or extreme pain, we encourage you to get in touch with us! Call (352) 237-8400 or fill out this contact form  today to set up an appointment. We look forward to your visit!

 

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