Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) with our Austin Optometrist
Have you heard of pink eye (known clinically as conjunctivitis)? It's not just something that affects little kids. At the Austin Vision Center, our Austin optometrist team has worked with people of all ages experiencing this common condition.
Along the outer eyes and inner eyelids, there is a thin membrane known as the conjunctiva. It's like a protective sheath that helps keep your eyes and eyelids moist, comfortable, and safe. Sometimes, the conjunctiva can become infected and/or irritated, leading to inflammation of nearby blood vessels (hence the hallmark "pink eye" appearance). The most common causes for this include bacterial infections, viral infections, or allergies (e.g., chlorine, smoke, cosmetics, etc.).
Key Symptoms of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
A person with pink eye may experience symptoms in one or both eyes. Common complaints include:
- Red, itchy, stinging, and/or burning eyes
- Swelling around the eyes and eyelids
- A feeling of grittiness in the eyes
- Heightened sensitivity to light
- Discharge from the eyes (it can be clear and watery or appear more mucous-like with a yellow or white tint); discharge will often dry out and form a crusty residue on the lids and lashes
Conjunctivitis Treatment with an Austin Optometrist
Conjunctivitis may go away on its own and is usually relatively mild. However, we recommend contacting our clinic to speak with an Austin optometrist if this is your first time experiencing this condition or if it's lasting longer than a few days. In some cases, untreated conjunctivitis can lead to permanent vision loss...so please don't take a gamble with your eye health!
Also, keep in mind that certain types of conjunctivitis are highly contagious. So, seeking treatment is helpful not only to you but also to your loved ones and anyone else you may come in contact with.
When you come to see us with for help, we can confirm a diagnosis and figure out what's causing your symptoms. Depending on what's causing your conjunctivitis, our Austin optometrist team may recommend any of the following treatments:
- Eye drops and ointments (antibacterial, antihistamine, steroidal)
- Oral medications (same as above)
- Lifestyle recommendations (e.g., avoiding known irritants or triggers, using cool compresses, stringent hand hygiene, switching from contact lenses to eyeglasses)