What Is Pink Eye

Those of us who have young children have probably come across a disease called conjunctivitis before. Child care centres are notorious for cases of conjunctivitis, and many parents have to deal with it every year. Conjunctivitis is an eye disease that is caused by bacteria or viruses. One of the symptoms is a redness of the whites of the eye, which is why it is also known as pink eye.

Do You or Your Child Have Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis is actually very easy to catch, and it is not uncommon for the disease to spread right through a child care centre, kindergarten, or other place where children are in close contact with each other. One only need rub their eyes with the infection to catch it.

Fortunately, conjunctivitis is considered a minor illness and is perfectly treatable with the right medication. It is useful to know when you, your child, or someone you know has conjunctivitis so that you can distinguish it from grit in the eye or some other ailment.

The following are some pink eye symptoms which can indicate that your red eyes are from more than allergies or dust:

  • Pink and red: Of course, one of the most common symptoms of conjunctivitis is the distinctive red or pinkish appearance of the whites of the eye. This can occur in one or both eyes, depending on the extent of the infection. Dust in the eye or hay fever can also cause red eyes, so conjunctivitis cannot be diagnosed by this symptom alone in most cases.
  • Discharge: One of the most distasteful symptoms of pink eye is the watery discharge that weeps from the eyes. As the eyes are irritated by the presence of the infection, and the delicate conjunctiva – or lining of the eyelids and eyeball – become inflamed, the eye secretes more fluid. This discharge is typically white or yellow and can become sticky. People with conjunctivitis often find that their eyelids are stuck together after a night of sleep.
  • Discomfort: People with pink eye often feel that they have dust or grit trapped beneath their eyelids. This is caused by the inflammation of the delicate tissues that are infected with the disease.
  • Light: Although sensitivity to light can certainly be a symptom of other conditions such as migraine headache, it is also common for people with pink eye to find that they are very sensitive to strong light sources.
  • Vision: The discharge and watery eyes that are caused by conjunctivitis will also cause blurred vision.

Effective Treatment

Conjunctivitis is certainly an irritating disease that can affect one’s quality of life. Luckily, it is also easily treatable. When taken alone, each of the above symptoms may not seem to indicate anything, but if more than one sign is present, it may be time to take a trip to the local doctor for a check-up.

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