Pink eye is an annoying eye condition that makes your eyes sore and dry. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and many times, the condition clears up on its own in a few days. Allergies, eye injury, and exposure to chemicals can cause the same symptoms, so it may be difficult to diagnose the condition by yourself. That’s why it’s a good idea to see your eye doctor when you have symptoms of injury or infection in your eyes. If you do have pink eye, here are some treatments that might help.
Pink eye that’s caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Your eye doctor may give you a prescription for oral antibiotics, but you may be given antibiotic eye drops or ointment instead. The ointment clings to your eyes to provide moisture as well as medication. However, it can leave you with blurry vision for several minutes after you apply it. Antibiotics won’t be effective on a viral infection. Instead, your doctor will suggest ways to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course.
Artificial tears provide lubrication for your eyes so they are not as gritty and sore. You may need to use these for a couple of weeks until your infection has cleared. You can buy these over the counter. Just be sure to look for eye drops that act as artificial tears rather than drops that remove redness. Your doctor may even suggest eye drops made for allergy sufferers as these have antihistamines or other medications that help reduce inflammation and itching. In addition, it may help to keep your eyes moist by applying a warm, wet cloth to your eyes frequently throughout the day.
One of the most annoying things about pink eye is the crust that forms on your eyes as you sleep at night. Your eyes may be stuck together when you wake up in the morning. Baby shampoo is useful for washing your eyelids to remove the crust gently, and since it is baby shampoo, it won’t burn your eyes. Even after the redness clears up, you may need to continue washing your eyelids with a gentle baby shampoo for several days until the infection clears completely.
In addition to managing your symptoms as best you can and avoiding eye irritants such as cigarette smoke and pollen, you also want to avoid spreading the infection. Bacterial and viral pink eye are both contagious. You can easily spread the infection to other members of your family if you aren’t careful. Not only that, if you have pink eye in just one eye, you want to do what you can to prevent it from going into the other eye because that will compound your discomfort. Be cautious about touching your eyes because you’ll transfer the germs to your fingers that you can then spread elsewhere. Also, it’s a good idea to throw away eye makeup that might be contaminated, or you may keep reinfecting yourself with pink eye.
For more information, contact companies like Tri State Ophthalmology.