According to the Cleveland Clinic, pink eye is one of the leading eye infections or problems, affecting about six million Americans yearly. The condition causes swelling of the tissues lining the walls of your eyelid. The conjunctiva protects and lubricates your eye using tears and mucus. When you have an inflamed conjunctiva, your eyes are red, your eyelids are swollen, and your eyes itch. Also, you are highly likely to experience Huntingdon Valley teary eyes and difficulty seeing clearly. However, understand that other factors or conditions, apart from pink eye, can also cause watery eyes. Common causes of watery eyes are blocked tear ducts, corneal abrasion, dry eyes, and the common cold.
Consequently, below are a few things you should know about pink eye.
1. Potential causes of pink eye
The inflammation and redness of the tissues lining your eyelids may be due to viral and bacterial infections, allergens, STIs, autoimmune disorders, touching your eyes with unclean hands, certain illnesses, wearing contact lenses, and exposure of the eye to a chemical.
For instance, most cases of the pink eye result from viruses that cause mild cold- or flu-like illness. Still, the herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and coronavirus (COVID-19) may also cause pink eye.
Common sexually transmitted infections that can cause pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sexually transmitted infections can reach your eyes when you touch your eyes with genital fluids. You can unknowingly rub your eyes after touching affected genital areas.
2. The difference between a stye and pink eye
It is often difficult to know whether you have a stye or pink eye because these common eye problems share similar signs and symptoms. If you have a stye or pink eye, your eyes will be red, sensitive to light, and have an inflammation along the edges of the eyelids, which forms eyelid crusts.
Still, a style and pink eye are different in a few ways. For example, a stye is a red bump affecting the edge of your eyelids. It is similar to an acne pimple. On the other hand, pink eye is a swelling of the eyelid’s inner lining with no bumps.
Moreover, unlike pink eye, a stye results from bacteria infecting the eyelid gland or eyelash follicle.
3. Is pink eye contagious?
Bacterial and viral infections that cause pink eye make it easy to spread it from one person to another. Therefore pink eye can be a highly contagious eye condition, having signs and symptoms such as swelling around the eyes, eye discharge, and the reddening of the whites of your eyes.
You can avoid spreading your conjunctivitis by always maintaining clean hands, avoiding rubbing or touching your infected eyes, washing towels and pillowcases regularly, avoiding wearing contact lenses, and avoiding swimming.
4. Treatment of pink eye
If your pink eye is due to a bacterial or viral infection and the symptoms are severe, consult your eye doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend antibiotic eye drops, essential for relieving symptoms of pink eye and promoting faster recovery by eradicating bacteria or virus that causes the eye condition.
Anti-inflammatory medications and over-the-counter artificial tears may also treat pink eye.
Contact Suburban Eye Associates today to schedule a consultation with a specialist if you have a teary eye due to pink eye or other conditions.