Pink Eye is more correctly known as Conjunctivitis. The eyes take on a noticeable pinkness when the transparent membranes, called conjunctiva, become inflamed. The inflammation may be on the outer surface of the eye, or on the inner membrane of the eyelid. The lining of the eye is normally clear, but if it becomes irritated or infected, the lining or conjunctiva becomes red and swollen. Pink eye is extremely uncomfortable, the eye is irritated and can feel itchy. At times it can also be painful. Fortunately, it is not a serious condition and is quite common.
A change of vision should not be noticeable as a symptom of pink eye. If a change in focus becomes apparent and does not clear, patients should consult an eye professional. This is not likely to be caused by pink eye.
If your eyes begin to itch or look red and bloodshot, check out the following list of symptoms to see whether you have pink eye. Knowing the symptoms is the key to diagnosing and treating the problem at an early stage, avoiding unnecessary pain and suffering.
Common symptoms of Pink Eye include:
The medical term for the redness of the eye is hyperemia. There are many causes of conjunctivitis, but viral conjunctivitis tends to cause a pink hue to the affected eye rather than a true redness. Viral pink eye is often one of the symptoms of a person suffering from a cold. The pink eye will be accompanied by a sore throat and a runny nose. The eyes water continually and feel sore, gritty and itchy. Bacterial conjunctivitis can cause hyperemia also, and is usually accompanied with a mucous discharge.
Swollen red eyelids
Pink eye affects not only the outer lining of the eye, which makes the white part of the eye appear pink or red. It also affects the inner lining of the eyelid. This can result in swelling of the eyelid and make it feel sensitive to touch. On examination the eyelid will appear to be red and inflamed.
Eyes should always be moist, but one of the symptoms of pink eye is the continuous crying of the eye. The eye is trying to wash out the irritation and soothe the redness and it creates tears naturally to do so. This is particularly likely if the pink eye sufferer also has a cold.
Foreign Body Sensation in the Eye
Due to the swelling of the membrane in the eye, the sufferer may feel that there is something in the eye, even though there actually is not a foreign body. The sensation is due to the swelling and irritation. Try not to tub the affected eye. Rubbing will only cause more irritation and consequently the feeling of a foreign body in the eye will be more acute.
Itching or Burning Sensation
A severe attack of pink eye will aggravate the conjunctiva of the eye to the point that it feels, hot, itchy and burning. Bathing the eye with cool water may relieve the irritation temporarily.
This technical-sounding term simply means that the eye is abnormally sensitive to artificial or natural light. The eye protects itself by closing or squinting in bright light, particularly when it is sore and irritated. Temporary relief may be found by wearing darkened glasses until the cause has been identified and treated.
Discharge or Drainage from the Eye
A common symptom of pink eye is the presence of a discharge. Sticky discharge which may be slightly yellow or green in color usually indicates bacterial conjunctivitis. The bacteria produces this discharge. A common symptom of pink eye is the presence of a sticky discharge which may be slightly yellow or green in color. The bacteria which cause the pink eye produce this discharge. A crusty residue may be particularly noticeable after sleeping. When the eyelids are stuck together, they may swell during sleep too. This matting of the eyelids occurs with many types of conjunctivitis or pink eye. Bathing the eye with clean water on a cotton pad will remove the stickiness and soothe the eye. Use the cotton to wipe the eye from the inner corner to the outer corner then discard. Pink eye is highly contagious and the same cotton should not be repeatedly wiped over the eye, or used on both eyes. A clear or watery drainage may also be present after sleep and may be caused by allergies or by a virus. Viral conjunctivitis discharge is more watery and usually does not cause matting of the eyelids and lashes in the morning.
The presence of some or all of the above symptoms indicates a pink eye infection and can spread very easily. Pink eye may be caused by viral or bacterial infection and will spread very easily. Avoid contact with other people. Wash hands frequently and do not share towels and washcloths with other members of the family to avoid spreading the infection.
Most conditions of pink eye clear by themselves in a couple of days. There are a number of ways that the symptoms can be soothed and treated. (For more information, see the Pink Eye Treatment article.) If the pink eye does not improve in that time, medical treatment should be sought and a prescription antibiotic may be necessary to kill the bacterial infection.
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