Understanding Conjunctivitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common eye infection that affects people of all ages. This condition occurs when the thin, clear layer of tissue that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids, called the conjunctiva, becomes swollen or inflamed.
There are three types of conjunctivitis: viral, bacterial, and allergic. Each type has its own set of causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Here is a closer look at each type:
Viral conjunctivitis: This type is caused by a virus, typically the same virus that causes the common cold. It spreads easily through contact with contaminated objects or direct contact with infected persons. Symptoms include redness, burning or itching, watery discharge from the eyes, and sensitivity to light. There is no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis, but over-the-counter medications may relieve symptoms.
Bacterial conjunctivitis: This type is caused by a bacteria, typically Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. Symptoms include redness, discharge from the eyes, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. It is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed.
Allergic conjunctivitis: This type is a result of an allergic reaction to substances such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Symptoms include red or pink eyes, itching, tearing, and a burning sensation. Treatment may include allergen avoidance or prescription allergy medications such as antihistamines.
If you suspect you or your child has conjunctivitis, it is important to seek medical attention. Dr. Dolan of 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, can provide a comprehensive eye exam and recommend appropriate treatment options.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dolan or to learn more about conjunctivitis and other eye conditions, call 248-375-0040 today.