Pink Eye

Winter is Pink Eye Season:

You should be seen by your optometrist, we would love to be your eye doctor Tulsa.

Pink eye is uncomfortable and highly-contagious and can spread rapidly through a school, daycare, church or other place where children are grouped together. While anyone can get “pink eye,” it is the most common eye infection in school-aged children.

What is conjunctivitis?

The conjunctiva is a clear mucous membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and the back of the eyelids. The conjunctiva is susceptible to infections by both bacteria and viruses and is greatly affected by allergies.

In all types of conjunctivitis, the eyes are uncomfortable and the whites of the eyes are red, with a light pink up to a bright red appearance . Symptoms vary between the types of conjunctivitis’ but often include excessive tearing, pain, light sensitivity, discharge, swelling of the eyelids, itching, and matting of the eyelids.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis

The bacteria that cause bacterial conjunctivitis are usually the same ones that also cause sinus and ear infections, and infections involving these different organ systems may all occur simultaneously.

Bacterial conjunctivitis develops rapidly and often causes significant crusting of the eyelids due to  yellow to green discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis is contagious and is easily spread. We at Optique Professional Eye Care advises patients with bacterial  conjunctivitis to wash your hands frequently, avoid shaking hands with others, and not to share towels, washcloths, and pillowcases with others.

Parents should consider keeping children home from school to prevent spreading of the infection to other people. The spread of Conjunctivitis is curtailed if the child stays home. Bacterial conjunctivitis will likely go away with prescription antibiotic eyedrops and reduces the exposure of others to the contagious infection. You should schedule a visit with Optique Professional Eye Care at the first signs of an eye infection. (918)743-9918 if it is an emergency (918)879-5055.

  • Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is the true “pink eye” the eyes look pink in color, whereas bacterial infections make the eyes more red. Another difference between viral and bacterial infections is that viral infections cause more excessive tearing

Viral eye infections usually cause by the adenovirus may last anywhere from a few days up to several months depending on the serotype of the virus. A doctor may use a steroid eye drop in an attempt to make a patient more comfortable, but it does not quicken the course of the virus. A newer treatment option has reportedly great results is a diluted solution of Betadine, which is directly applied to the eye as an eyedrop in the doctor’s office. Betadine is an iodine solution that is widely used as a sterilization preparation on the skin prior to a surgical procedure. It burns and is uncomfortable for a few days but studies show no viral load after treatment and allowing those patients to return to work or school quicker without the risk of spreading the infection.

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is more common in adults than children. Allergic conjunctivitis is the result of exposure to pollen, grass, certain foods, or other substance  to which you are allergic. It can be either acute or chronic. Acute allergic conjunctivitis is the eye’s exaggerated response to an allergen. The key symptoms are itchiness , redness, and sometimes swelling of the eyelids. If the itchiness worsens when you rub the eyes, it is likely an allergic reaction. Once our doctor at Optique Professional Eye Care has determined your condition, there are likely several treatment options to make you more comfortable.

Chronic allergic conjunctivitis is often less severe, but longer lasting. Acute conjunctivitis occurs with limited exposure to the offending agent and then it’s removed, but chronic conjunctivitis is due to a prolonged exposure to the allergen. Chronic allergic conjunctivitis frequently occurs when someone lives with a pet they are allergic to or seasonal that occurs in the Spring and Fall months in many areas of the country.