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Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis & Avoiding The Spread | Amoils.com

EMILYMost of us have had experience of pink eye or conjunctivitis and know how highly contagious it can be. It is alarming for parents the first time they see this condition on a young child because it may make the eyes extremely red and even spread rapidly. The good news is that it usually causes no long term damage either to the vision or the eyes themselves.

Some types of pink eye go away on their own while others require treatment.

The symptoms of pink eye

  • Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • White, yellow or green eye discharge
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Crusting of eyelids or lashes

Pink eye can be caused by

  • The bacteria and viruses that are responsible for colds and other infections such as ear, sinus or throat infections.
  • The same bacteria that can lead to sexually transmitted diseases – known as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Allergies - although this is more likely when a child has other allergic reactions such as hay fever.
  • Irritants in the environment such as chemicals in chlorine or soaps or air pollutants such as smoke or fumes.
  • Chlorine in higher concentrations such as in public swimming kpools can be the culprit if your child experiences frequent bouts of conjunctivitis. The chlorine can break down the protective layers of lubrication that cover the eyes so that they become more vulnerable to getting infected if they are rubbed. Triggers of this type of allergic conjunctivitis include grass, ragweed pollen, animal dander and dust mites.

Fortunately, most cases of conjunctivitis resolve on their own within a week or so but when the pink eye produces a green or yellow discharge, using an over-the-counter antibiotic eye drop can be very helpful. Even if the pink eye appears in just one eye, it is safer to put one drop in each eye because it is so easy for the conjunctivitis to spread. Continue the treatment daily for at least two days after all signs of the redness have gone.