Almost everyone has heard of – and experienced – conjunctivitis at some point in their lives. It is more commonly known as red (or pink) eye, and describes a reddening and possibly swelling around the outside of the eye. The condition can be spread through pathogens, allergens or have an elemental source, depending on the specific type.
Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are both highly contagious and are easily spread through groups of people, such as classrooms of children at school. If you display any warning signs of conjunctivitis, you should give us a call and make the trip in to see Dr. Kassam for an exam as soon as possible. If you are contagious, he can advise you on how to limit the spread of the condition; if not, he will help you manage your symptoms and reassure you that it’s okay to see your friends and colleagues!
There are three forms of pinkeye. While each exhibits similar symptoms, it takes a comprehensive eye exam with the proper equipment to identify from which case you are suffering.
Usually spread through hand-to-eye contact, this strain of the condition is very prevalent amongst groups of school children. If one child goes undiagnosed for even a short while, it spreads like wildfire among the other children. It is spread by common bacteria and occurs more often than either allergic or viral conjunctivitis.
The only type which is not contagious, if your pink eye is caused by an environmental factor, then we will help you determine what that factor is, and you can attempt to avoid it in future. This is very common with people already suffering from seasonal allergies such as hayfever.
Carried by a variety of different viruses (such as that which transport the common cold and flu), viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and spreads very quickly.
There is a thin web of cells which line each of our eyes, called the conjunctiva. When this area is inflamed, it can become slightly swollen, red and irritable – hence the term “red eye”.
Woodstock Optical maintains a suite of the latest technology for visual assessment of your eyes. This equipment enables Dr. Kassam to examine the conjunctiva in minute detail to confirm that it is actually red eye. We will also analyse a small sample of fluid from your eye to verify whether or not the condition is bacterial.
If yours is an allergic or environmental trigger, the doctor will help you figure out exactly what it is.
Other than the reddening and inflammation of the conjunctiva, you may also experience:
In general, conjunctivitis is simply left to run its course. Things usually clear up within a couple of weeks and don’t cause too much inconvenience if you use warm compresses and eye drops as advised by the optometrist. Antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed for certain cases of bacterial conjunctivitis.
It is very important that you get a professional diagnosis, as the specific type of conjunctivitis is tricky to self-diagnose, and you may decide on a treatment option which actually impedes your recovery.