How to get rid of pink eye fast?
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is defined as an infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the eye. The membrane is also called the conjunctiva. It is a transparent layer that covers the white sclera of your eyes. Once it gets inflamed, the vessels dilate, which causes the eyes to turn pink.
There can be several reasons why conjunctivitis happens. In this article, we have listed the cause and the treatment based on the symptoms. The symptoms are treatable within an in-house setting and rarely require hospital admission.
Pink eye is often harmless as it rarely affects your eyesight. It is readily diagnosed, which helps in prompt treatment of the condition. If the symptoms or the root cause is not identified correctly, this may cause complications.
Why the Pink Eye Occurs?
There can be many reasons which precede pink eye. It can be due to pathogens like viruses or bacteria, or it may be due to a foreign body particle or irritants.
- Infectious agents – Virus
Viral conjunctivitis occurs mainly due to adenovirus. However, varicella-zoster virus and herpes simplex virus can also result in pink eye. A recent study shows that the novel coronavirus also causes red-eye or conjunctivitis.
- Infectious agent – Bacteria
Bacterial conjunctivitis can result mainly due to bacterial attacks. If you are wearing uncleansed contact lenses or using soiled makeup brushes, it can cause bacterial conjunctivitis.
Upper respiratory infections can accompany both virus and bacteria-induced conjunctivitis. You may develop symptoms of a common cold like cough, flu, or sore throat. The pink eye that an infectious agent cause is highly contagious. They can be spread to other individuals easily.
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Allergy Resulting Conjunctivitis
Any allergen or a foreign particle such as pollen can cause allergic conjunctivitis. This initiates an inflammatory response in the body and the production of antibodies. The mast cells located in the inner lining of the eye or upper airway releases inflammatory mediators—the release of histamine, which supports the sign and symptoms of conjunctivitis.
You may also develop itching and tearing of the eyes, sneezing, and nasal discharge, along with allergic conjunctivitis.
Irritants Induced Conjunctivitis
Often, an accidental splash of a chemical or entry of a foreign particle can initiate pink eye. Primarily, it causes the eyes to turn pink along with mucous discharge. You may observe watery discharge from eyes and nasal discharge. This condition is itself self-limiting and settles within a day or two.
However, if the condition persists, see eye doctors immediately. The chemicals may cause mild to severe complications, which may require expert consultation.
What Are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis?
The signs and symptoms of the viral pink eye help you to identify the cause and treatment plan. You may develop itchiness and gritty feeling in the area of the eye infection. Along with that, there can be redness and watery discharge from either one or both eyes. You may develop crust which affects the opening of the eye when you wake up in the morning.
Are These Symptoms Controllable?
These symptoms of pink eye are easily manageable and don’t require consultation. However, suppose the complications develop, such as intense pain in the eyes, blurred vision or vision loss, or eyes sensitivity to light. In that case, you may need to see a doctor immediately. If you feel that you are experiencing irritation in your eyes, see a doctor at the earliest.
If your symptoms don’t get better within the first 12-24 hours, consult an eye specialist.
How to Get Rid of Pink Eye?
To eradicate the symptoms of conjunctivitis, you need to do the following things:
- Wash your hands and take clean cotton applicators. Dip the cotton tip applicator into warn water and clean the eyes from the inner to the outer side.
- Discard the cotton tip applicator after each stroke.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times for each eye.
- Repeat the same procedure 2-3 times a day.
Points to Remember:
- In case of bacterial infection, you need to apply an antibacterial eye drop or ointment after cleaning the eyes. Eye drops or creams can help limit the effects of conjunctivitis or pink eye.
- You may need artificial tears if the dryness is too much in the eyes (This often happens because of extensive watery discharge).
- Stop wearing any makeup soon after the symptoms begin.
- Don’t wear contact lenses if you have itchy eyes due to pink eyes.
Is It Okay to Scratch the Eyes If It Irritates?
You might have a gritty feeling or itchiness in your eyes, but scratching the eyes is strictly prohibited. This may cause further complications and the spread of infection.
Apply eye drops to control the itchiness. If you have developed eye crust, avoid removing it by scratching. Instead, wash your eyes with the steps we have described earlier.
Will, It Spread to My Family Members?
It is crucial to prevent the spread of the infection to your loved ones. Yes, viral and bacterial conjunctivitis is contagious and proliferates rapidly. Therefore, you need to pay attention to avoid the spread of infection.
Here is what you need to do:
- Dispose of the tissues and cotton tip applicator properly.
- Avoid touching your eyes and nose to prevent cross-contamination.
- Make sure to use a washed towel every time.
- Use clean and sterile cotton applicators and washcloths.
- Avoid sharing your pillows, towels, and washcloth with any other person.
- Replace the pillow covers in case of discharge and further spread of infection.
- Avoid sharing the same makeup brushes and cosmetics, especially eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow.
- Check the expiry for the makeup products and throw them away if they have reached their expiry.
- Replace makeup and cosmetic if that has caused you irritation.
If It Is Contagious, Can I Go to Places Like School, College, Or Office?
Though it is highly contagious, you can still resume going out. In cases when you can’t take days off or sick leaves, you may continue going to places. However, you need to take standard precautions and prevent the spread of infection.
We would recommend limiting going out without any particular reason. This will help prevent infection to others, keeping yourself and others healthy and active.
Can My Newborn Also Get Infected with Conjunctivitis?
The immune system of the newborns is highly fragile. They easily get of infection with bacteria and viruses. It is your responsibility to avoid the spread of infection to them.
Newborns are susceptible to the bacteria found in the birth canal. Rarely, these newborns can develop a crisis. They can get a severe form of conjunctivitis, ophthalmia neonatorum, which is somewhat more stringent.
It can cause permanent eye damage and thus requires immediate treatment. To retain the sight, you need to rush to an eye specialist. This is why newborns are given eye ointments at the time of birth to prevent bacterial infections.
This article discussed the proper methods that can help you prevent conjunctivitis or pink eye. If you or any of your friends have contracted pink eye, you can recommend this guide to them to limit and avoid the spread of infection.
If you take care of it properly, the symptoms will subside within a few days. It takes up to 7 days to fully recover from the symptoms. We wish you a speedy recovery if you are suffering from it.