Have you or a family member ever gotten pink eye? The affected person usually has one or both eyes inflamed. The white parts of the eye are bright pink or red. The eye can have a feeling like grit or dirt is in it and can have a yellow-type discharge coming out. This is a common occurrence with children especially but can infect people of all ages. Pink eye causes redness, itchiness, swelling, watery eyes, and sometimes drainage. The healthcare providers at Amarillo STAT Care can help. They accept both walk-ins and appointments. We are not an ER but are available for your urgent care needs.
Eye doctors often see patients of all ages with pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis). The conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that lines the underside of the eyelid and the white part of the eye. This membrane allows the eyelid to slip seamlessly over the surface of the eye when you blink. Healthy conjunctiva is usually clear. With this condition, the appearance changes dramatically.
Each person may have different symptoms due to pink eye. Typical symptoms found in people with pink eye may have a red or pinkish hue to the surface of the eye. The eyelids may appear or feel swollen. Sometimes a person with pink eye may start to have a gritty or sandy feeling in the affected eye. Itchy eyes or tearing up without notice may indicate that the eyes may become infected with pink eye. A thick yellow discharge is usually noticed when waking up and can accumulate throughout the day. It is recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible if any of these symptoms start.
Pink eye can be contagious or non-contagious depending on the cause. The contagious form comes from viral and bacterial infections. The non-contagious form happens with dry eyes, allergies, or exposure to chemicals, fumes, or smoke. Because the contagious form is more common, always assume conjunctivitis is spreadable unless a doctor says otherwise. Entire families can become infected without precautions. Getting to Amarillo STAT Care as soon as possible for a diagnosis is recommended.
Remember, pink eye can affect anyone. However, children are the ones that doctors see most often for this condition because they do not take the precautions adults do when it comes to potential infection. Children don’t consider the dangers of sharing things among themselves. If one child is infected, it is very easy for pink eye to spread to playmates, siblings, and other family members.
How do you and your children avoid the spread of pink eye? When someone in your household has conjunctivitis, you need to go into containment mode immediately. The affected person needs to see an eye doctor or go to Amarillo STAT Care. The doctor can tell if the condition is contagious or non-contagious. The doctor can also prescribe medications to help clear the problem and reduce symptoms.
If someone outside the household has the condition, such as your child’s classmate at school, contact with that person needs to be minimized while they have an active infection. This will help prevent anyone in the household from getting the infection.
The patient and the caregiver need to avoid touching the eye unless applying medications or clear away discharge.
Use disposable tissues when clearing away discharge and trash them immediately.
The patient cannot share items with anyone while infectious. This includes toys, towels, handkerchiefs, makeup, toothpaste containers, glasses, or eating utensils. Disinfect all items frequently.
Disinfect surfaces throughout the house. This can include but is not limited to, countertops, sinks, and doorknobs.
Launder towels, bedding, and clothing often in hot water.
Frequent hand washing with disinfectant soap should become the rule for everyone in the household until the infection clears. The use of hand sanitizer is another option but does not replace hand washing.
Throw out any eye makeup used by the infected person.
Disinfect eyeglasses every day while the infection is active and for a while afterward.
Discard contact lenses worn during or prior to the diagnosis.
Pink eye isn’t fun for anyone. You wouldn’t even wish it on your worst enemy! It’s painful and not pleasant to look at in all honesty. If infected, seek prompt medical attention at Amarillo STAT Care. A doctor can prescribe medication to reduce symptoms and help fight the infection. In many cases, the infection will take a few days to clear and become non-infectious. Knowing about conjunctivitis is the first line of defense against getting it and spreading it. The eye care team at Amarillo STAT Care in Amarillo, Texas can treat you and your children for pink eye, so don’t hesitate to call or come by if you are noticing pink eye symptoms. No appointment is necessary.