Have you ever had pink eye? Has your kid ever had pink eye? If not, count yourself lucky. If so, you probably remember that it’s not a very pleasant experience for anyone. What exactly is pink eye, and when should you see your eye doctor about it?
What Is Pink Eye?
Pink eye is also known as “conjunctivitis.” The eye may look pink or red, and they may feel itchy and irritated. There may be drainage from the eye, which may be clear and thin, or it can be thick, with a greenish or whitish color. It can be caused by bacteria, a virus, a reaction to toxic chemicals, or allergies. Here are some other things you should know:
It is very contagious. It can spread easily, so make sure items such as pillows, makeup, towels and even eyeglasses aren’t shared between family members. And it doesn’t just affect kids – adults can get it too.
It rarely affects vision. It can be quite irritating, but it shouldn’t cause any permanent damage to your eyes.
It is a bad idea to wear your contacts. As soon as you notice symptoms of pink eye (or if your eyes ever feel irritated) you should remove your contacts and throw them out. You should also get rid of any lens accessories (such as your contact lens case and even the bottle of solution).
There are at-home remedies you can try. A cool or a warm compress (whichever one feels better to you) can help to make your eyes feel better. If you only have pink eye in one eye, though, make sure that you don’t press the compress to the other, healthy eye.
Another thing you should know about pink eye is that it will usually get better on its own – but if you’ve had it for a few days and it doesn’t seem to be improving, or if you are in pain, you should see your eye doctor. Contact North Suburban Eye Associates, with offices in Waltham, Winchester, and Wakefield, Massachusetts. Call (781) 245-5200 for an appointment today!