Have you ever had a red eye and wondered if you had “pink eye?” Most people panic and think that every red eye is a contagious “pink eye.”
Technically, a real “pink eye” is a contagious infection/inflammation of the tissue on the eye called the conjunctiva. The conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacteria, an allergen, or a virus. The viral form of a conjunctivitis is the most contagious form.
Symptoms of pink eye can range from itching, burning, watering, and acute redness, to light sensitivity, eye pain, swelling, and discharge.
The only way to know if you have a contagious form of “pink eye” is to see an eye care provider. Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat acute conjunctivitis.
Most times, the treatment is eye drops. Sometimes, oral antibiotics or allergy medicines are needed to control the infection and reduce the symptoms. Washing your hands regularly and making sure to follow the doctor’s treatment plan is the only way to prevent spreading the infection. EVERY red eye is NOT a “pink-eye.” Therefore, it is important for you to see your eye care provider immediately if you have any symptoms. Contact lenses and some health conditions can also cause red eyes which can be confused with a “pink-eye.” The next time your eyes are red, don’t diagnose yourself. Go to your eye care provider to see if you have a “real” pink eye. If you are in need of an eye care professional, I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care. 321 W. Montgomery Crossroads, Savannah (near Hunter Golf Course) For appointments, call (912) 927-0707 and visit us at www.envisionsavannah.com