The conjunctiva is the outermost layer of clear tissue that surrounds the eye. When this layer of tissue becomes inflamed it causes a condition called conjunctivitis or “pinkeye.” Conjunctivitis is commonly referred to as pinkeye because it causes the white areas of the eye to become reddish and appear bloodshot. Pinkeye has several different causes including infections, allergies and irritating substances. Infections causing pinkeye are most often due to a virus, however can also be caused by certain bacteria.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Infectious causes of pinkeye are very contagious and can be spread easily from contact with an infected individual. Persons who have frequent close contact with infected individuals and children such as daycare and school workers are at the highest risk. The best way to avoid transmission is maintaining proper hygiene techniques such as frequent hand washing and avoiding touching the face or eyes. It is also important to avoid sharing personal items with an infected individual. The most important way to prevent allergic pinkeye is to avoid known allergens.
PINK EYE SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of pinkeye differ depending on the cause. Symptoms can include redness of the eye, itching, burning, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, increased tearing, crusting along the eyelids and discharge from the eyes. Symptoms may be in one eye or both eyes. Pinkeye can spread from one eye to the other. Symptoms such as changes in vision, eye pain, headache or nausea can indicate a more serious condition and require you to contact your doctor immediately.
DIAGNOSIS AND PINK EYE TREATMENT
The diagnosis of pinkeye is based on the medical history and eye examination completed by your doctor. Pinkeye is generally treated with eye drops to help alleviate symptoms. During treatment you should not wear contact lenses. It is important to dispose of products such as contact lenses and makeup that may have come in contact with your eyes during the infection. If your doctor determines that pinkeye is caused by a bacteria a course of antibiotic eye drops or ointment is prescribed to treat the infection.
HOW PLUSHCARE WORKS
At PlushCare all of our visits are through a simple and convenient phone or video consultation. Our doctors are able to help diagnose pinkeye and recommend an appropriate treatment course. If appropriate, we can provide a prescription for medications such as eye drops or antibiotics. If the doctor prescribes a medication, the prescription will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice for immediate pick-up.