What is Pink Eye, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
One of the problems caused by seasonal changes is pink eye.
One of the problems caused by seasonal changes is pink eye. Especially in the spring months, increased pollen may cause pink eye complaints to increase. Although there are different types of pink eye, the general symptoms are the same. If you are curious about the answers to questions such as what is pink eye and what are its symptoms, you can take a look at the rest of the text.
What is Pink Eye?
Pink eye occurs as a result of inflammation of the thin membrane covering the surface of the eye. Also known as conjunctivitis, this condition is sometimes called “pink eye” because the white part of the infected eye turns red, creating a distinct pinkness in the eye. Pink eye may occur due to viral, bacterial or allergic infections. This condition is usually serious but can cause various complications.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
Symptoms of pink eye may vary depending on the type and extent of the infection, but it usually presents with the following symptoms:
- Eye Redness and Swelling: The most obvious symptom is significant redness and swelling in the white part of the eyes. This redness occurs due to dilation of blood vessels in the eyes.
- Watery Eyes and Discharge: Eye cold usually manifests itself with watery discharge and tearing. There may be persistent clear or slightly white discharge from the eyes.
- Sticky Eyelids: Due to pink eye, eyelids may stick together when you wake up or stay closed for a long time. This may cause discomfort when opening your eyes.
- Dry Eyes and Burning: Some patients may experience a feeling of dryness and a slight burning sensation in the eyes. These symptoms may occur in response to inflammation of the eye surface.
- Sensitivity to Light: Pink eye can result in increased sensitivity to light. Bright lights may cause discomfort.
- Eye Itching: There may be a slight itching sensation in the eyes due to infection. However, scratching should be avoided as it may lead to further spread of the infection.
Pink eye can usually clear up on its own, but if symptoms become bothersome or indicate a more serious problem, it’s important to see an eye care professional. Your doctor can prepare an appropriate treatment plan depending on the infection. Correct diagnosis and management are of great importance, especially since antibiotics are not effective against viral infections.
What Causes Eye Flu?
Causes of pink eye may include:
- Viruses: One of the most common causes is viral infections. Different types of viruses, such as adenoviruses, can cause inflammation of the surface of the eye. Viral pink eye usually develops due to infections such as a cold or flu.
- Bacteria: Bacteria can also cause pink eye. Especially bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause inflammation on the surface of the eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis is often contagious and can be spread by direct contact or contact with infected hands.
- Allergies: Some people may be hypersensitive to environmental factors or allergens. Allergens such as pollen, house dust mites or animal dander can cause pink eye.
- Chemical Irritants: Exposure to chemicals that irritate the eyes can also lead to conjunctivitis. Substances such as chemicals, detergents, chlorinated water or gases can cause irritation and inflammation in the eyes.
- Contact Lens Use: Contact lenses that do not comply with proper hygiene rules or with prolonged use can irritate the surface of the eye and increase the risk of infection.
- Infections Transmitted from the Mother in Newborns: Newborn babies may be prone to conjunctivitis due to infections that may be transmitted from the mother during birth.
The cause of pink eye may vary depending on the symptoms and type of infection. It is important to consult an ophthalmologist when symptoms occur or infection is suspected. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the effects of the infection and prevent it from spreading.
How is Pink Eye Diagnosed?
An accurate diagnosis of pink eye usually requires an evaluation from an eye care professional. Diagnosing pink eye is usually accomplished through these steps:
- Patient’s History: The doctor listens to the patient’s history to understand the patient’s symptoms and signs. He or she tries to understand what is causing this condition by asking when your symptoms started.
- Eye Exam: The ophthalmologist may use a microscope to examine the physical condition of the eyes. Redness of the eyes, swelling, discharge and other symptoms are carefully examined.
- Discharge and Eye Swab Tests: The doctor may take an eye discharge or swab to determine the cause of the infection. These samples can be examined for laboratory testing. These tests can help detect the type of bacterial or viral infection.
- Light Sensitivity Test: Increased sensitivity to light is a common symptom in cases of pink eye. The doctor can evaluate this sensitivity by holding your eyes to bright light or using a special lamp.
- Other Tests: The ophthalmologist may order additional tests as needed to rule out allergic reactions or other potential eye problems.
Correct diagnosis is essential to determine appropriate treatment options. Once the cause of pink eye cases (such as viruses, bacteria, or allergies) is accurately determined, the treatment plan can be created accordingly. It is important to see an eye care professional when pink eye symptoms become noticeable or bothersome.
How to Cure Eye Flu?
Treatment of pink eye may vary depending on the type of infection. Treatment for pink eye generally focuses on relieving symptoms, reducing discomfort, and preventing the spread of infection. Treatment may include:
- Home Care and Hygiene: Most cases of pink eye can be mild and can be cured with simple measures that can be applied at home. Keeping your eyes clean can help prevent the spread of infection and provide relief.
- Eye Drops and Ointments: Eye drops or ointments with antibacterial or antiviral properties used to treat pink eye may be prescribed. These medications are determined by the doctor depending on the cause of the infection.
- Allergy Medication: If pink eye is the result of allergic reactions, using antihistamine eye drops or allergy medications can relieve symptoms.
- Cold or Hot Compresses: It may be helpful to use cold or hot compresses for eye discomfort and swelling. However, you should consult your doctor about which type should be used.
- Contact Lens Use: If you wear contact lenses, it may be recommended to remove the lenses and wear glasses during pink eye to help heal the infection.
- Medicines Prescribed by the Doctor: You may need to use antibiotic drugs or antiviral drugs prescribed by the doctor, especially for bacterial infections.
- Doctor’s Check-ups: It is important to go for regular doctor’s check-ups during treatment to prevent any possible risks and to change the treatment plan when necessary.
If pink eye symptoms become severe or do not respond to treatment, it is important to see an eye care professional immediately. It is also important to follow hygiene rules to prevent the spread of infection.
Pink eye contagion
Pink eye is a contagious condition. A person with pink eye can transmit the virus or bacteria to others through infected eye discharge or secretion. Especially cases of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious and can easily pass from person to person. Contact with infected eyes or sharing personal items such as towels, make-up, and pillows may increase the risk of spreading the infection.
To reduce the risk of uncontrolled transmission and prevent infection, the following precautions should be taken:
- The infected person should avoid touching their infected eyes and wash hands frequently.
- Hands should be washed immediately after contact with eye discharge or swab.
- People with pink eye symptoms should stay home and avoid public areas to prevent the spread of infection.
- It is best not to return to school or work until you are sure your pink eye symptoms are completely gone.
- People with pink eye symptoms should avoid using contact lenses and opt for glasses.
- It is important to clean the surface of the eye frequently to prevent the spread of pink eye symptoms.
Due to its contagious nature, people with pink eye symptoms should avoid close contact with other people and limit the spread of infection by taking appropriate precautions.