At Michigan Eyecare Institute, a common condition we see in our Southfield, Livonia, and Dearborn offices is pink eye. You've probably heard of this condition, but may not be aware of what causes it or how easily it can spread.
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a condition where the transparent membrane of your eye becomes inflamed or infected. The blood vessels in your eye swell and become more visible, leading to the pinkish hue that the condition takes its name from. Your eyes may feel watery or itchy. Discharge and crust can also occur with pink eye.
The Causes of Pink Eye
You can develop pink eye from a viral or bacterial infection. It can also result from allergies. It's also possible to contract pink eye from someone else who is infected because it's extremely contagious. This is why it's important not to touch any person or surface after touching your eyes when you have pink eye. You should avoid scratching or rubbing your eyes as much as possible. You should also avoid touching your eyes without washing your hands to avoid contracting pink eye or any other infections.
Contact lenses and eye makeup can also contribute to an infection. Make sure to follow all instructions for caring, storing, and cleaning your contacts. Only insert your contact lenses with clean hands, and take out your lenses before sleeping. Dispose of any mascara that you may have used while having pink eye. Wash any makeup tools that you have used while infected. If you struggle with recurring pink eye infections, you may need to dispose of all of your makeup tools. Do not share makeup or makeup tools with others.
Diagnosing and Treating Pink Eye
A doctor can usually diagnose pink eye based on appearance without any further testing. However, a swab can identify if bacteria is the source of the condition. Pink eye typically resolves on its own within two weeks, but medications can expedite the process.
Pink eye may be caused by allergies, viral infection, or bacterial infection. Antihistamines, antivirals, and antibiotics, respectively, can improve the symptoms of pink eye, but each cause requires specific treatment. If medication is needed, it will usually come in the form of eye drops.
Artificial tears can also help reduce the symptoms of pink eye. A warm compress may relieve the discomfort caused by pink eye. If your eyesight needs correction, wear glasses rather than contact lenses as long as you are infected with pink eye.
Find A Local Eye Doctor
If you live in Southfield, Livonia, Dearborn, or the surrounding area, and you are experiencing pink eye symptoms, call Michigan Eyecare Institute today at (248) 352-2806 to schedule an appointment. Our optometrists and ophthalmologists can provide a proper diagnosis and develop a treatment plan for your pink eye.