Pink eye is one of the most common eye problems affecting both adults and children. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is the inflammation or infection of the clear membrane that covers your eyeball and lines the inside your eyelid. Our doctors of optometry at the Carlson-Tillisch Eye Clinic in New Ulm and Mankato, MN, can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment for suspected cases of pink eye.
What Does Pink Eye Look Like?
The white part of the eye becomes reddish or pink when small blood vessels become inflamed due to pink eye. It can present itself in just one eye or in both eyes. The affected eye might itch or feel like there is grit under the eyelid. A patient with pink eye might find that crust forms on the eye overnight which makes it difficult to open the eye in the morning. Contact lens wearers may find that the inflammation makes their lenses uncomfortable and that they won't stay in place. Pink eye can also cause blurry vision and sensitivity to light. It's important to be treated by an eye doctor soon to make sure the pink eye doesn't cause any lingering vision complications.
What Causes Pink Eye?
Most of the time pink eye is caused by a virus and often it appears as a symptom of a cold or other respiratory infection. Pink eye can also be caused by bacteria that gets in the eye, sometimes from an improperly cleaned contact lens. Another form of pink eye is allergic conjunctivitis. That’s a response to an allergen like pollen or pet fur getting in the eye. The eye can also become inflamed because of a chemical splash or a foreign object.
Conjunctivitis is also highly contagious. Patients experiencing symptoms should be very careful with their personal hygiene so that it doesn’t spread through the liquid that drains from the eye. That includes not touching the eye, washing your hands frequently, changing towels and pillowcases and throwing away eye makeup. Patients with pink eye should not wear their contact lenses until the problem has cleared up.
See an Eye Doctor for Pink Eye Treatment
If you suspect you or a loved one have a case of pink eye, a doctor of optometry can make a proper diagnosis and prescribe eye drops for treatment so that the patient’s vision is not compromised. Pink eye is irritating and it can be uncomfortable, but it is also common and easily treatable. Contact the Carlson-Tillisch Eye Clinic by calling our New Ulm office at 507-354-7407 or our Mankato office at 507-345-5087 to make an appointment.