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Pink Eye (conjunctivitis), occurs when the conjunctiva is infected or inflamed. The conjunctiva is a clear membrane that covers the white part of your eyeball. An inflammation causes the small blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become more visible, causing the whites of the eye to appear pink or reddish. The cause of conjunctivitis is typically due to a viral or bacterial infection or an allergic reaction. Pink eye is irritating and uncomfortable, but it rarely affects your vision. Pink eye may be contagious, so it is important to visit your optometrist in Westchester or South Bay for treatment to help reduce the risk of it spreading.
The most common sign of pink eye is eye redness, but there are other serious eye conditions that may also cause eye redness, so if you experience redness as well as eye pain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity, you should schedule an eye exam immediately. The most common symptoms of conjunctivitis generally include:
The primary focus of treatment for conjunctivitis is relieving the symptoms. Your optometrist may recommend cleaning your eyelids with a clean, wet cloth, applying warm or cold compresses to your eyes and using artificial tears. If you wear contact lenses, your optometrist will advise you to stop wearing them until your treatment is complete. The cause of conjunctivitis is generally due to a viral infection, so in most situations, you will not need antibiotic eye drops. The virus needs to run its course, which is typically two to three weeks and the symptoms should gradually clear on their own. However, if the symptoms last longer than three weeks, it is essential that you schedule another appointment with your eye doctor for an eye exam to make sure there isn’t another problem that is mimicking the symptoms of pink eye.
If you notice signs or symptoms that you think may be conjunctivitis, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor. Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious for as much as two weeks after your symptoms begin and seeking early diagnosis and treatment can protect those around you from getting it too.
If you suspect you may have pink eye, contact Westchester Eye Care Center at (310)670-1888 to schedule an eye exam.