What is pink eye ?

Pink eye is the colloquial term for “conjunctivitis”, an eye infection that usually leads to irritation, redness, itching and discharge. Although this condition leaves a patient uneasy, it is not a threatening one. While avoiding pink eye is preferable, patients diagnosed with pink eye may also need proper medication to reduce symptoms and cure the infection.

Conjunctivitis, as its name suggest, starts with conjunctiva inflammation. The conjunctiva is the clear member covering a part of the eyelid and the white parts of the eye. As the conjunctiva becomes inflamed and more irritated, it causes irritation to the veins and redness to the entire eye; hence the name “pink eye”. Without proper treatment, the infection could cause an uncomfortable discharge.

Bacteria can cause pink eye. When this happens, pink eye can be infectious and should be treated immediately before interacting with other people. However, this can be countered easily by taking antibiotics. Allergies or foreign bodies in the eye could also cause pink eye, so it is important to determine the cause of irritation before taking prescription drugs.

Pink eye is extremely common in children; but this can be prevented by training your kids to wash their hands, face and eyes regularly. Sharing personal items like eyecups and towels should also be avoided to prevent infectious material from irritating your eyes.

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