How Do You Know if You Have Pinkeye?

Conjunctivitis, which is also called pink eye raleigh north carolina, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the term used for the thin clear tissue which covers the white part of the eye and lines the interior of the eyelid.

It is quite common for children to get pink eye. Depending on the form of pink eye, it can also be highly contagious, but it is fortunately not serious. It is highly uncommon for the condition to damage your vision. This is especially true with early detection and prompt intervention. When you work to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis and follow your doctor’s recommendations, pink eye should clear up with no long-term issues or side effects.

Causes of Pink Eye

Numerous things can cause pink eye. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Viruses, such as the common cold
  • Bacteria
  • Environmental and topical irritants including shampoo, dirt, smoke, and chlorine
  • Reaction to eye drops
  • Allergic reaction to things in the environment such as pollen, dust, or smoke.
  • The condition can also be caused by a special type of allergy that impacts people who wear contact lenses
  • Fungi, amoebas, and parasites

In some cases, conjunctivitis is the result of a sexually transmitted disease. For example, gonorrhea can bring on an uncommon but dangerous form of bacterial conjunctivitis. It can also result in the loss of vision if it is not treated. Chlamydia can also cause conjunctivitis in adults. Patients who have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another form of bacteria in their body when giving birth can pass pinkeye on to the baby through the birth canal.

Pink eye which is caused by various bacteria or viruses is quite contagious, but it is not a serious health concern when it is promptly diagnosed. If the condition occurs in a newborn baby, however, follow up with doctor immediately as it can threaten the baby’s vision.

The term pink eye is not an official term used in the medical community. Most eye doctors associate the term pink eye with mild bacterial or viral conjunctivitis.

Pink Eye Symptoms

Symptoms of pink eye can vary based on which form of pink eye you have. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Burning, itchy eyes which produce a thick, sticky mucus discharge may indicate bacterial pink eye.
  • Signs of viral pink eye often include tearing, swollen lymph nodes below the jaw or in front of the ear, and a light discharge of mucus from one or both eyes. Patients who viral pink eye also commonly have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or cold.
  • Redness, intense itching, and tears in the eyes often indicates pink eye from an allergy.
  • Slight blurring of the vision.

Follow up with your Doctor regarding pink eye if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Your eye is physically injured. Eye injuries can easily become infected and result in corneal ulcers. It is possible for corneal ulcers to cause permanent vision loss.
  • Your eyes are extremely red when wearing contact lenses. Immediately remove the lenses and schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as you may have an infection or corneal ulcer.
  • Vision is impaired or you have eye redness along with pain or excessive yellow or green discharge. This may indicate you have a bacterial infection.
  • You experience conjunctivitis often or it appears to get worse after a short period of treatment at home. This may suggest that you have a bacterial or viral infection.
  • The eyes of a newborn baby are red or produce a discharge. The baby may have ophthalmia neonatorum, which is a condition requiring immediate treatment in order to prevent permanent eye damage.

How Long Does Pink Eye Last?