Winter. For some people, it’s the season that embodies staying indoors working on crafts or catching up with a few good books. For parents, it’s the season in which their children can come home with a new, exciting illness transferred from their friends at school. According to Washington's Top News, Winter is peak season for pink eye. More accurately, winter is peak season for bacterial or viral pinkeye.
The proper name for pink eye is conjunctivitis, and there are four different causes:
Viral Conjunctivitis - Symptoms can mimic that of a cold or the flu. The disease usually begins in one eye and spreads to the other within a few days. Any discharge from the eye is watery.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Bacterial pink eye can accompany an ear infection and will produce a yellow/green colored discharge.
Allergic Conjunctivitis - This type of conjunctivitis will usually affect both eyes. Like many allergy symptoms, the eyes will be watery, itchy, and may cause swelling. It will also accompany other allergy symptoms, such as sneezing or a scratchy throat.
Conjunctivitis Caused by Irritants - Conjunctivitis, put simply, is an irritation of the conjunctiva - the thin tissue covering the white parts of your eye and inside of your eyelid. Sometimes pinkeye can be caused by external irritants, like contact lenses, makeup, or chlorine.
Viral and bacterial are the only types of pink eye that create discharge in your eyes. They are also the most contagious. As long as you or your child has discharge present, it is important not to come in direct contact with others. It is also important to know that is may go away after a few day, but in bacterial infection, treatment is recommended as it may cause permanent vision loss if scars are present in certain areas of the eyes. If you get pink eye related to contact lenses, new lenses, lens cases, or eye makeup, replace these items with new ones.
- The easiest way to prevent pink eye (especially in the winter) is to keep clean. Wash your hands, bedding, and clothing often, especially if you or someone you know comes in contact with a pink eye patient.
- Avoid touching your eyes.
- If you wear glasses, clean them regularly.
- If you wear contacts, clean, store, and replace them properly.
- Don’t share anything that comes in contact with your eyes, such as glasses, sunglasses, makeup, bedding, or towels.
The most important thing you can do if you or someone you know develops pink eye is to seek treatment. At Infinite Eye Care, we offer urgent care & pink eye services. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will heal.