Pink eye is an infection of the conjunctiva — the thin transparent membrane that covers the front of your eyes and the insides of your eyelids — that affects approximately 3 million Americans every year. At Bridge Opticians in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Harrison Rosenberg, OD, offers expert diagnosis and treatment for pink eye, as well as advice to reduce your risk of contracting pink eye again. For expert care, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Pink eye is an infection of your conjunctiva, which causes the whites of your eyes to become pink and makes your eyelids red and swollen. Your conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane that covers the front of your eyeball and insides of your eyelid.
It keeps your eyes moist and lubricated and protects them from dust and other airborne debris. Pink eye also causes symptoms such as:
Your contacts might not fit comfortably, or you might feel like you have something stuck in your eye. Pink eye can also cause swelling in the lymph nodes in front of your ears. An upper respiratory tract infection may accompany viral pink eye infections and cause coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat.
Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of pink eye. These infections are often extraordinarily contagious and spread easily from person to person, especially when you don’t wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes.
Pink eye may also develop as an allergic response to pollen, dust, animal dander, or other airborne irritants. Your conjunctiva may also become inflamed after being exposed to environmental irritants such as chlorine, smog, or cosmetics.
At Bridge Opticians, Dr. Rosenberg diagnoses pink eye with a careful examination of your eyes and eyelids. Dr. Rosen asks about your symptoms, general health, and lifestyle.
For example, if you need to use public transportation daily, you may be exposed to a wide range of infections that could lead to pink eye. He may take a sample of any discharge from your eye to test for a bacterial infection.
Dr. Rosenberg provides customized treatments for pink eye depending on the type of infection causing your condition. In mild cases and some viral infections, your pink eye may clear up on its own.
However, if your infection is bacterial or severe, you may need medicated eye drops to help your body fight off the infection and relieve your symptoms.
Dr. Rosenberg recommends replacing your contact lenses as well as their case and solution to reduce the risk of reintroducing the infection to your eye. He also suggests replacing any eye cosmetics such as mascara and eyeliner. You should also make sure to clean your eyeglasses and cases thoroughly.
If you’re concerned about pink eye, call Bridge Opticians or schedule an appointment online today.