What Is Pinkeye?

Also known as conjunctivitis, pinkeye is a relatively common condition which affects the mucous membrane around the surface of the eye and eyelid. Common indicators that you are infected include redness, swelling and difficulty opening the eye when you wake up. If you think you may have pinkeye, the good news is that medical attention can typically be avoided, and the condition diminishes within around seven to 10 days.

How Do You Get Pinkeye?

There are numerous ways in which pinkeye can become introduced, the most common being viral or bacterial infection. Chemical conjunctivitis is another possible cause, and this could be a likely origin if you were recently exposed to chemicals, fumes, or smoke. Other possibilities include allergies or having dry eyes.

How to Avoid Spreading Pinkeye

If you have determined you do indeed have pinkeye, it is likely a viral strain, and this condition is highly contagious. For starters, do not go to your place of work or school until the condition begins to clear up. Typically, infected individuals are able to return to their regular schedules within about one week. Furthermore, although it may itch, avoid touching the area, and make sure you wash your hands frequently to protect others living in the home.

Seek Medical Attention

Although some people are able to fight pinkeye without medical intervention, a doctor’s help is the best option. If you have an existing condition which impairs your immune system, your body will not be able to fight the condition effectively. Furthermore, if you only have vision in one eye, using medication to encourage accelerated healing can help you regain your visual capability more quickly. Finally, although it’s very rare, if your pinkeye is caused by the herpes virus, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help you recover.

Getting Through the Week

In most cases, pinkeye is just one of those situations you have to deal with while it works its way out of your system. While the symptoms such as itching and watering can become uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to help ease them during those first few days. If you suspect your condition is allergy-related, a cold compress can offer relief while warm compresses are often effective in alleviating issues stemming from infection.

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