What is Pink Eye

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A doctor is sitting at the table and talking to someone.

Our eyes are the window to the world and connect us to our physical surroundings. They enable us with sight, which has been labeled as the most valuable of all the senses. Because our eyes are such vital organs, when they are affected by an infection, it can be cause for concern. The most common type of eye infection is pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis. Pinkeye can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and can even be brought on by allergies.

What is pink eye?

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, happens when the conjunctiva is irritated by a viral or bacterial infection or an allergic reaction. A person with pink eye will have eyes that become red and swollen (inflamed), and sometimes they can discharge a sticky pus. Conjunctivitis can occur in one or both eyes. Some types of pink eye are very contagious (easily spread from person to person), such as pink eye caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Bacterial infections of pink eye can be treated with a course of antibiotics, which should start to clear the infection within the first few days. Viral infections of pink eye cannot be treated with antibiotics, but instead are typically given pain-relievers or antihistamines to ameliorate symptoms until the immune system clears the infection from the body.

When should I worry about pink eye?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of pink eye along with any of the following, it may be recommended to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible:

  • Pain in the eye(s)
  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision
  • Intense redness in the eye(s)
  • Symptoms that get worse or do not improve, including a suspected bacterial infection of pink eye that does not improve after 24 hours of antibiotic use
  • A weakened immune system

Newborns and infants with symptoms of pink eye should be seen by a doctor right away.

How long does pink eye last?

Viral infections of pink eye typically clear up in one to two weeks without treatment and without any long-term consequences. However, in some cases, viral conjunctivitis can take longer than three weeks to clear up.

Bacterial pink eye is caused by an infection with bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. The prescribed course of drugs should start clearing up the infection within 24 hours of the first dose, as long as they are taken as prescribed. Even if a person does not use antibiotics, mild bacterial pink eye often improves within 10 days. However, it does have the potential to develop into more serious symptoms, so treatment is often recommended.

Should I go to urgent care for pink eye?

Yes, urgent care is a great place to receive treatment for pink eye! These specialized clinics are designed to handle pink eye and other common infections. They can provide quick, convenient and affordable care for those with urgent medical needs.

How contagious is pink eye in adults?

Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are both highly contagious, and adults may be contagious for up to two weeks after the first symptoms appear, however the contagious period may last as long as three to four weeks. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person; instead, it is caused by an allergic reaction, such as from pollen, pet dander, dust mites or even certain foods.

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of pink eye, come to Doc-Aid in Laredo, TX today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating pink eye and can help you feel better sooner. Call us today or book an appointment, or visit our clinic, we have convenient locations to serve you in Laredo, TX. Our office is open everyday of the week from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. We serve patients from Laredo TX, Ranchos Penitas West TX, Islitas TX, Botines TX, Nye TX, and Webb TX. Looking forward to serve you!