When most of us think of pink eye, we think of the infectious bacterial or viral versions of conjunctivitis. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis spread through a group of people quickly- it’s very “popular” at school (once one child has it, several more are sure to follow in short order).
Conjunctivitis can be caused by pathogens (bacteria or viruses), the environment (air quality, dust, smoke), or allergies. Each cause requires a different type of treatment- antibiotics won’t work for viral conjunctivitis, for example.
The first step in properly treating the symptoms is to diagnose the cause. Our optometrists have diagnosed and treated thousands of cases of pink eye and will quickly determine the type/cause of your pink eye.
With offices in High River, Nanton, Okotoks, and Vulcan, there’s an Eyes 360 nearby that can help you! A visit to our clinic is often much faster than a walk-in. Please call the location nearest you and specify that you are coming in for a pink eye diagnosis. Visit our locations.
Known colloquially as “pink eye”, conjunctivitis’s nickname stems from its main symptom: a visible reddening of the conjunctiva (the white part of your eye).
Types of Conjunctivitis – There are three types of conjunctivitis:
Symptoms – Conjunctivitis has many symptoms similar to other eye diseases, making self-diagnosis difficult in some cases. Look for:
Diagnosis – The optometrist will perform a series of tests to determine the nature of your conjunctivitis. We may send samples to a lab for processing if we are unsure.
Treatment – Once we have a proper diagnosis we are able to move forward with treatment. Mild cases of conjunctivitis can be treated with topical medications to alleviate symptoms. Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with antihistamines.
Many symptoms can be effectively treated with warm compresses. We recommend warm compresses with a clean, lint-free cloth for 10-20 minutes at a time. Do not drape the cloth over both eyes if only one eye is infected, otherwise you may inadvertently infect the healthy eye. Be sure to wash the cloths immediately after use to avoid spreading the pathogen.