Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a painful and irritating condition in which the conjunctiva becomes swollen and discoloured. It is generally not a serious concern, but it is important to recognize when it is present so that it is not spread to others. Pink eye is highly contagious and can persist for about 7 to 10 days. Because pink eye is not curable with medication, prevention is the best way to combat this condition.
Bacterial and Viral Pink Eye
There are two different types of pink eye, which are both easily spread and preventable through similar measures. Viral pink eye is caused by the adenovirus accounts. Infections of this nature tend to last just over one week. Symptoms of viral pink eye can include itching and burning, pain, redness, and excess tearing. Bacterial pink eye generally lasts longer than viral infections, but it does respond to antibiotic medication where viral pink eye does not. Symptoms are slightly different for bacterial pink eye, including excess drainage of yellow fluid, pain, and redness in the white of the eye.
Protecting Your Eyes from Conjunctivitis
Pink eye is generally spread when people contact the infection with their hands and then touch their faces. Sharing eye makeup and eye drops can also spread of pink eye. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands before touching any part of the face, applying makeup, or putting in contact lenses. If you do wear contacts, follow care instructions carefully to keep them clean and free of bacteria. Avoid touching your eyes and face if you do have pink eye, as rubbing the eye can scratch the cornea and cause permanent damage.
If you have symptoms of pink eye or want to learn more about preventing this infection, visit an FYidoctors center in your neighbourhood. Schedule an appointment today with one of our many locations across Canada. Please see our website for a listing of locations.