Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of conjunctiva – a transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they’re more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink. This is a very common condition and at Koby Karp Doctors Eye Institute we treat patients with conjunctivitis on regular basis.
Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction.Though pink eye can be irritating, it rarely affects your vision. Treatments can help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Because pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can help limit its spread.
The most common pink eye symptoms include:
• Redness in one or both eyes
• Itchiness in one or both eyes
• A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
• A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
When to see a doctor
Keep in mind that there are other serious eye conditions that can cause eye redness. Typically, these conditions will also cause pain and blurred vision. If you experience these symptoms, seek urgent care.
People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don’t start to get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.
If you notice any signs or symptoms you think might be pink eye, make an appointment by calling Koby Karp Doctors Eye Institute at (502) 897-1604. Pink eye can be highly contagious and early diagnosis and treatment can protect people around you from getting pink eye too.
John Distler, MD