The winter season is the season for colds, which in turn can create a battle against pink eye.
As noted by AllAboutVision.com, anyone can get pink eye. Preschoolers, schoolchildren, college students, teachers and daycare workers are particularly at risk for the contagious types of pink eye due to their close proximity with others in the classroom.
So what is pink eye?
Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye “is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Although the conjunctiva is transparent, it contains blood vessels that overlay the sclera of the eye. Anything that triggers inflammation will cause these conjunctival blood vessels to dilate. This is what causes red, bloodshot eyes.”
There are three types of pink eye, based on cause. They are:
Viral conjunctivitis which is caused by a virus, like the common cold. This type is very contagious, but usually clears up on its own after several days without medication. The symptoms include watery, itchy eyes; sensitive to light. It can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria and can cause serious damage to the eye if it isn’t treated. The symptoms include: a sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. This can be contagious usually by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander. This may be seasonal or flare up year-round. The symptoms include: watery, burning itchy eyes; often accompanied by stuffiness and runny nose, and light sensitivity. This is not contagious.
You should see your eye doctor if you or your child has pink eye symptoms. Give Performance Eyecare a call at (314) 878-1377 (St. Louis location) or (618) 234-3053 (Swansea, Illinois location).
Original article: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/conjunctivitis.htm