What Your Eye Doctor at Epic Vision Eye Centers Wants You to Know about Pink Eye
Sooner or later, nearly every child comes down with a condition called pink eye. Here are some frequently asked questions answered by your Doctor of Optometry at Epic Vision Eye Centers, serving greater Kansas City in Kansas and Missouri.
What is pink eye?
Pink eye is a condition of acute inflammation of the inside lining of the eye. The eye becomes irritated and inflamed and looks pink.
Do I have to get a Doctor of Optometry to diagnose pink eye?
It's always a good idea to see your eye doctor, but it's OK to treat pink eye at home before you do.
What causes pink eye?
Pink eye results from infections with either bacteria or viruses or sometimes both. The most common cause of pink eye is infection with an adenovirus, which is in the same family of viruses that also cause colds. There is a test called AdenoPlus™ that can tell whether the infection is bacterial or viral, but you have to see your eye doctor in person to get it. Your optometrist or other eye doctor will use it to determine whether antibiotic eye drops will help clear up your infection or not.
How can I tell if my child (or any other member of my family) has pink eye?
In addition to the pink discoloration of the sclera, the "white" of the eye, there will be irritation, itchiness, swelling, and fluid production. Pink eye causes watery eyes.
Is pink eye contagious?
Yes. Both forms of pink eye are contagious as long as there are symptoms, and the viral form of pink eye is contagious even before there are symptoms. This means that anything touched by secretions from the infected eye can infect someone else. As soon as you hear that pink eye is "going around," you need to take steps to stop the spread of the infection.
How can I stop the spread of pink eye?
Every doctor of optometry will tell you that the most important thing you can do to stop the spread of pink eye is to wash your hands each and every time before and after you touch your face. Washing your hands with soap under warm running water breaks up the coating that protects the virus while it is outside the human body. You need to wash both sides of your hands and between your fingers and under your nails, long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Your children need to do this, too.
Additionally, no two members of your family should use the same towels, wash cloths, or bed linens until you are sure the infection has passed.
What can I do to feel better?
Warm (not hot) moist cloths placed over your eyes (shut, not open) will relieve itching, irritation, and pain, but make sure the cloth you place on your eyes is clean.
Epic Vision Eye Centers in Kansas and Missouri Is Here to Help
If you live in greater Kansas City, Epic Vision Eye Centers is here to help you with all of your vision needs. Request an appointment online or call us at one of the numbers listed on our contact page.