How to treat pink eye

Fact Checked

Pink eye is a condition that causes inflammation of the conjunctiva. Generally, the conjunctiva is the thin clear layer of tissue on the white area of the eye and lines the inside area of the eyelid. It is very contagious and children are susceptible to this condition.

Symptoms of pinkeye

  • At first, burning sensation or irritation in the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchiness of the affected eye/eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • It usually affects only one eye but eventually spread to the other eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Lastly, a sticky discharge that drains from the eye that is colored white or green.

Causes and type

pink eye

A sticky discharge that drains from the eye that is colored white or green.

  • STD or sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea which is a dangerous form of bacterial conjunctivitis. Improper treatment can result to loss of vision.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis caused by allergies on pollen and dust and susceptible to people with hay fever, asthma and eczema.
  • Viral conjunctivitis, due to virus that causes the common cold and is highly contagious and spreads to other people easily.
  • Reactive conjunctivitis, reactions to substances or chemicals such as chlorine in swimming pools.
  • A reaction to eye drops, smoke, dirt and shampoos
  • Allergies on contact lenses
  • Amoebas, parasites and fungi

Treatment

  • Clean the affected eye/eyes properly.
  • Apply warm compress on the area for at least 5-10 minutes, 3-4 times every day. Soak a clean washcloth in warm water, wring out excess water and place on the area to lessen the pain and the discomfort.
  • Apply the prescribed preservative-free artificial tears a few times every day to lessen itchiness of the area.
  • Place a cool compress on both eyes to lessen the itching of the area. Wrap ice pack in a towel and place on the area for at least a few minutes.
  • Use the prescribed antiviral eye drop, ointments or pills to lessen symptoms of viral pink eye.
  • Use the prescribed antibiotic eye drop to lessen the symptoms of pink eye caused by bacteria. Generally, oral antibiotics for pink eye caused by Chlamydia or gonorrhea. Both partners should be treated to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Prescribed vasoconstrictors, medications that narrow the blood vessels, antihistamines or steroid eye drops to lessen the symptoms of pink eye.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses until the condition totally heals to prevent further irritation and delay the healing.
  • Take a shower or bath before going to sleep at night.

Tips

  • Wash clothes and pillowcases regularly to prevent the spread of infection. Wash beddings using hot water and avoid sharing belonging to other people with pink eyes.
  • Avoid touching the eyes to prevent contamination cause further irritation and worsen the condition. Protect the area from dust.
  • Clean contact lenses regularly before wearing them.
  • Maintain personal good hygiene.

FACT CHECK

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-conjunctivitis#1

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/conjunctivitis.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/symptoms-causes/syc-20376355

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  • All classesfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.