Optometry is the field of medicine that focuses on the eyes. Optometrists are the doctors that specialize in this field. They work to detect, diagnose, manage and treat conditions of the eyes. However, what may be surprising to learn is that optometry can also detect general health problems, just by examining the eyes.In this article,…
What Is Pink Eye? [Optometrist Treatment Tips]
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a fairly common eye condition that causes the eye area to become inflamed, which in turn causes the eye to look pink. Even though it is considered to be a minor eye infection, it can turn into something more serious. While conjunctivitis is most often found in children, adults can be diagnosed with this eye condition as well.
What is pink eye?
An optometrist is an eye care professional who can diagnose pink eye in those who have this contagious condition. Pink eye is often caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. It can also happen when someone experiences an allergic reaction or swims in a swimming pool with chlorine. People who wear contact lenses that lead to an allergic reaction can get pink eye as well. According to the American Optometric Association, people with conjunctivitis may experience an itching or burning sensation, discharge, swollen eyelids and increased sensitivity to light.
Treatment tips from an optometrist
Many cases of pink eye will completely heal on their own. However, those who are experiencing a lot of pain, blurred vision and sensitivity to light should make an evaluation appointment. Also, people with a weakened immune system or who have not experienced any improvement after 24 hours of at-home treatment should go to the optometrist too. The following list includes a few beneficial treatment tips from an optometrist for those who have contracted pink eye.
Gently wipe the eyes with a clean cloth
Pink eye often makes it difficult for someone to open their eyes when they wake up in the morning, as the eyelids tend to be stuck together. This happens due to the discharge that happens during the night, causing the eyes to become crusty. Gently wiping the eyes with a clean cloth dipped in warm water will get rid of this annoying crust.
Apply a cold compress
Applying a cold compress to the eyes will help address the swelling and dryness that happens when someone is diagnosed with conjunctivitis. Simply place a cold compress on the eyes to help ease any discomfort or pain caused by swollen and dry eyes. This treatment allows for faster healing time.
Avoid wearing contact lenses
Those who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing them until the eyes are completely healed. A pink eye diagnosis means the eyes are swollen, dry and irritated. If contact lenses are placed in the eye, it will cause the eyes to become worse. Eyeglasses need to be worn instead, as this helps the eyes heal much faster.
Avoid looking at computers and cell phones
When someone is diagnosed with conjunctivitis, it means that the eyes are going to be overall weaker, more apt to respond to stress and more sensitive to bright lights. Looking at computers and cell phones will strain the eyes, making it more difficult to be rid of this common eye condition once and for all.
Do not rub the eyes
It is essential for those living with pink eye to avoid rubbing the eyes. Since pink eye can make the eyes itch, it is easy for someone to start rubbing the eyes and not even realize. Rubbing will make the condition worse. Therefore, those who are experiencing itchy eyes are encouraged to use a clean cloth instead.
Need to be treated for pink eye?
Ready to make an appointment with an experienced optometrist so you can know for sure whether or not you have pink eye? Since there are three different types of pink eye, it really is a good idea for you to be evaluated so you are sure to receive the right type of treatment. During your appointment, you are free to ask any questions you have, as the more you understand about pink eye, your chances of being diagnosed again are going to be much smaller.
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