Pink Eye

Valdez Eye Center

Eye Physician & Surgeons located in Apple Valley, CA

Pink eye is one of the most common eye problems, and if the cause is viral conjunctivitis, it’s very contagious. If you or your child has pink eye, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible at Valdez Eye Center in Apple Valley, California. The team of expert ophthalmologists quickly relieve the symptoms of pink eye and help to prevent it from spreading. Call the office or use the online booking tool today to schedule an appointment.

Pink Eye Q & A

What is pink eye?

Pink eye, known medically as conjunctivitis, is a common eye condition that causes inflammation and swelling in your conjunctiva, the thin layer of tissue that lines your eyelids and the whites of your eyes. This inflammation causes the whites of your eyes to look pink or red because the blood vessels in your conjunctiva become swollen and visible.

Though there are several types and causes of pink eye, the most common is viral conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, about as contagious as the common cold, and often affects children and people who work with children. Bacteria and allergies can cause similar conjunctivitis symptoms.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes. In addition to redness, these symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Increased tear production
  • Irritation, itching, and/or burning
  • The feeling that something is stuck in your eye
  • A crust or discharge that usually forms overnight and can make opening your eyes in the morning difficult

Most cases of conjunctivitis are mild, easily treatable, and don’t cause vision damage. Still, it’s a good idea to have the team at Valdez Eye Center take a look if your eyes become red and irritated, especially because you might have a contagious infection.

How is pink eye treated?

Treatment for pink eye depends in part on what’s causing it. Bacterial conjunctivitis responds to antibiotic eye drops, but if you have viral conjunctivitis, you need to allow time for the virus to run its course. If you have allergic conjunctivitis, your optometrist can help you to avoid whatever it is that triggers your allergies and can prescribe anti-allergy eye drops.

Your optometrist also helps you to deal with your symptoms while you address what’s causing them. At-home care for pink eye includes:

  • Keeping your eyes clean
  • Preventing dryness by using over-the-counter “artificial tears” eye drops
  • Not wearing contact lenses while you have symptoms and throwing out the pair you were wearing when your symptoms started
  • Applying a warm compress to the affected eye for a few minutes 3-4 times a day

This approach can significantly improve symptoms within a few days, though you can remain contagious for longer.

How can I stop pink eye from spreading?

Viral conjunctivitis is about as contagious as the common cold. That means you can infect others, but the spread of the condition is preventable.

When you get treatment for pink eye at Valdez Eye Center, your ophthalmologist determines when you or your child can go back to work, school, or daycare and is happy to provide a note and document your condition with photographs. As a general rule, you’re no longer contagious when discharge and eye inflammation are no longer visible, which usually takes 3-7 days.

It’s understandable that you or your child wouldn’t be able to take that much time off. Even if you have noticeable symptoms, good hygiene practices can stop the spread of pink eye, including:

  • Washing your hands
  • Not touching or rubbing your eyes
  • Never sharing towels or washcloths
  • Changing your pillowcases often
  • Never sharing cosmetics, towels, or blankets

Schedule an appointment today for pink eye treatment at Valdez Eye Center online or over the phone.