Treatment of Pink Eye at Total Family Eyecare’s Boca Raton Clinic
What is Pink Eye / Conjunctivitis?
When a patient comes into our office with “pink eye”, their eyes look swollen and bloodshot. We need to determine what is causing their eye to be inflamed.
The medical term for pink eye is conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva is a clear superficial layer of tissue that covers the surface of the eyes and the insides of the eyelids. Inflammation or infection of this tissue is called conjunctivitis.
- Eye redness.
- Watery and itchy eyes.
- Different colors of discharge in the corner of the eyes.
- Swelling and crusting of the eyelids.
- In some cases there may also be a cold, flu, upper respiratory tract infection or runny nose associated with the conjunctivitis.
- Lymph nodes in front of the ears may also be swollen.
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What causes Conjunctivitis?
There are a few reasons for picking up pink eye, usually causes by undesirable contaminants in the air:
This is the most common type of conjunctivitis and can be caused by anything in your environment that can irritate your eyes. Good examples are noxious chemicals such as paints, stains, automotive chemicals, cleaning chemicals and chlorinated pools. These agents breakdown your natural tear layer and then directly cause irritation to the conjunctiva. Redness, pain, itching, swelling and mild discharge are common symptoms.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is most common with small children but is the least common conjunctivitis in the general population. It has the classic presentation of thick, yellow/green “eye goop.” Often times the eyes are harder to open in the morning due to this “goop” sticking the eyelids together (as opposed to not wanting to get out of bed!)
Allergic conjunctivitis can be caused by a variety of factors including seasonal pollen, molds, dust, pet dander, and other allergens. Ocular itching and swelling are the most common symptom.
When it comes to the ears, nose, throat and eyes, they are all connected. Viral infection of any of the mucous membranes can easily lead to viral conjunctivitis. This is a very contagious condition, much like the flu can spread between people. Patients usually come to our clinic with red, swollen eyes and clear, watery discharge. An upper respiratory tract infection, fever, and swollen lymph nodes may also be present
Dr. Sheiner uses a slit lamp examination which allows him to get a detailed look at the surface of your eyes to determine the type of conjunctivitis and the best course of treatment.
Some of the symptoms that we look for are:
- There is a difference in the size of your pupils.
- Your vision is still blurry even after blinking.
- Your eyelid(s) or the skin around your eyes is redder than normal.
- Your eyes have become more sensitive to light.
- Contamination caused by old or faulty contact lenses.
Pink Eye Treatment
Get an Eye Exam
First, let’s have you come in for a thorough eye exam to make sure you have pink eye or some other complication.
Stop Wearing Contact Lenses
Quite often, symptoms will ease when you stop wearing contact lenses and give your eyes a chance to recover. Throw that pair of lenses away and order a new set to avoid any repeat contamination.
Cold or Warm Compresses
Prevention of Pink Eye
There are several common sense and simple precautions you can take to lower the chance of getting conjunctivitis:
- Do not share contact lenses. They are relatively inexpensive and not worth the risk to your eyes.
- Use your own washcloth, handkerchief, tissue etc. Don’t share with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing (also a common courtesy!).
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if you will be around others.
- Remove contact lenses before taking a shower.
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