While many of us think of entire schools of children succumbing to conjunctivitis, there are actually three different types which are all contracted in different ways. Regardless, red eye is a very common eye condition which requires a professional, accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment advice from a specialist.
At the Eye Care Team, all of our optometrists are ready to help you get your eyes back to normal.
As it is a common illness, many individuals choose to self-diagnose themselves as having conjunctivitis and using the same treatment plan as friends, colleagues or as recommended online. The problem is that each type of pink eye is different, and the treatment for the bacterial strain will not help if you are actually experiencing allergic conjunctivitis. Book an exam today and we can tell you exactly which type we’re dealing with, and how to move forward.
The most common form of red eye is highly contagious and can easily spread through large groups, most commonly in schools. Transmission is usually via hand-to-eye contact and every child is likely to experience it at some point or another.
Like all allergic reactions, this form of red eye is caused by some kind of external trigger which varies from person to person. Those who suffer from hayfever (and other seasonal allergies) are most likely to experience this. It is not contagious.
Also quite contagious, this strain is carried by many different host viruses, including that which transmits the common cold and flu and similar respiratory infections.
There’s a network of cells which lines the eye. Conjunctivitis is when this network of cells – called the conjunctiva – becomes inflamed, visibly red and possibly swollen.
Your eye will become pink or red and quite inflamed. Depending on your specific case, it may also be swollen, sensitive to touch, painful and itchy. You may also experience:
We can perform a detailed assessment of your eye and eyelids using advanced imaging and magnification equipment. We may also take a sample of any discharges from your eye for additional testing. This in-depth exam allows the optometrist to accurately diagnose your particular type of red eye and subsequently recommend treatment.
If symptoms aren’t severe, it is generally best to let the condition run its course for 1-2 weeks until it disappears. You may benefit from using eye drops or creams to make symptoms less irritating. For mild discomfort, a warm compress can be exceptionally relieving.
In bad cases of bacterial conjunctivitis there may be antibiotics which can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms, but this should be discussed with the optometrist before making any decision.