Patients call The Eye Care & Surgery Center just about every day asking whether their “red itchy burning eyes” are possibly due to conjunctivitis or “pink eye.” In fact, without actually coming in to see us for an external eye exam, it is difficult if not impossible to tell over the phone. When you do come in there are a number of signs we look for that go along with your symptoms and help us diagnose whether you have “pink eye conjunctivitis.”
Signs & Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis--If you have a
bacterial infection causing pink eye conjunctivitis, you will usually have very
red eyes. You may find crusting on your eyelids that can make them stick
together as well as a heavy, pus-like discharge from your eyes that may be
greenish at times. This infection may spread to both eyes.
- Viral Conjunctivitis--If you have a viral conjunctivitis we often will find a
very red, swollen eye, crusty eyelids and a more watery discharge. This
discharge can also have strands of mucus or white, ropy strands. While many
cases of viral pink eye infect only one eye, this infection can also spread to
the other eye.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis--If you have an allergic conjunctivitis and your allergies are causing your conjunctivitis, it will often look similar to viral conjunctivitis. Your eyes will be red and tearing. However, they will also be itchy. It is likely you may have a stuffy, runny or itchy nose as well.
Treatment of Pink Eye Conjunctivitis
For the most part, our approach to the treatment of conjunctivitis is supportive. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections but do work well in treating bacterial conjunctivitis. Regardless of the cause, it is important to minimize exposure of others by washing your hands frequently and throwing away used tissues. Do not share towels or pillow cases. Consider staying home from work or school until you are symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should discontinue their use and stick with glasses until your infection clears. Then start with a fresh pair of lenses and a clean lens case.
If you or someone you know has a question about pink eye conjunctivitis, or needs an appointment for an external eye exam for pink eye, please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter to schedule an appointment.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, and is conveniently located for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.