What are the Causes of Pink Eye
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a disease that causes swelling and irritation of the conjunctiva, or the mucus membrane surrounding the eye and eyelid.
There are many possible causes of pink eyes or red eyes such as viral eye infection,allergic eye condition,chemical eye injuries,bacterial eye infections, Chlamydial eye infection and giant papillary conjunctivitis, to name a few.
Bacterial and viral infections are most often accompanied by redness, itching, watery eyes and a colored discharge.
Most pink eye transmission is the result of poor hygiene. Improper hand washing leaves eyes vulnerable to infection. People routinely touch their eyes without thinking, and poor hygiene means that any pollutants the hands have been exposed to are now also in your eyes.
Viral pink eye is the most common form and is caused by a viral infection. There may be other symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat and/or respiratory problems. Viral pink eye or viral conjunctivitis usually runs its course in 7-10 days, and does not need medical intervention.
Bacterial pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection and should be treated by a doctor. The doctor will need to ensure that the disease has not progressed to other areas where symptoms are not yet apparent. A course of antibiotics and eye drops are the usual prescriptions to clear up bacterial pink eye.
Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease is one of the most common causes of Pink Eyes. If this is the cause of pink eye, patient should immediately seek medical attention. While this cause is uncommon in the Western world, it is still found often in the Middle East and Africa. If you have recently visited those areas you may want to be tested for a battery of STDs.
Allergies can cause pink eye by creating itchiness and swelling in the eyes.
There are many types of allergic conjunctivitis such as vernal keratoconjunctivitis and atopic keratoconjunctivitis .The frequent rubbing can cause swelling in the conjunctiva. Treating the allergies and minimizing contact with eyes can help to reduce the symptoms. Treating the underlying cause, the allergy, is the only way to help with this form of pink eye.
Chemical pink eye is the result of chemical eye injuries. Household chemicals can do a lot of damage to the eyes if accidently introduced. Spray cleaners, styling products and much more can irritate the eyes, causing conjunctivitis. If a chemical is introduced to the eye, immediately flush with water to remove the chemical and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis is cause by a foreign object entering the eye. Contact lens wearers are at high risk for this type of pink eye. Proper hygiene for handling and cleaning contact lenses is important to avoid this complication.