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When the white of your eye takes on a pink or reddish hue, it doesn't necessarily signal an ocular emergency -- but if conjunctivitis is the underlying cause, you need to take those symptoms seriously. This disease, known to the general public as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye that can result in lifelong vision impairment if it's allowed to create complications. Fortunately, your optometrists at Alpine Vision (Dr. Arbaugh, Dr. Reuter and Dr. Merryman) can treat this condition successfully and help you recover from it as quickly as possible.
Conjunctivitis may or may not be highly contagious, which is one of the reasons it's important to determine the reason for your condition. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can both be spread from person to person, while allergic conjunctivitis is an individual autoimmune reaction to environmental agents such as pollen or pet dander. While all versions of it can cause eye discoloration, discomfort, and discharge, the symptoms may be subtly different. For instance, viral conjunctivitis causes a clear, watery discharge, while the bacterial version produces a thicker, mucus-like discharge.
Most types of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis will clear up on their own within a couple of weeks, and allergic conjunctivitis may come and go as a chronic condition depending on your proximity to allergens. But a serious case of conjunctivitis always deserves medical attention. Unchecked, this condition can cause permanent corneal damage and loss of vision.
If you're exhibiting all the telltale signs of conjunctivitis and you're in Colorado Springs, Falcon, or Windsor, bring your pink eye (or eyes) to Alpine Vision for prompt diagnosis and treatment. We will inspect your eye carefully, note your symptoms, and ask you about any known allergies or other health conditions. If you've been troubled with a bad cold lately, for example, we may suspect viral conjunctivitis, which can be caused by cold and respiratory viruses.
Once we know the underlying reason for your conjunctivitis, we can prescribe the appropriate treatment regimen. This may include:
· Allergy medications to control your autoimmune reactions
· Environmental or lifestyle changes to help you avoid specific allergens
· Antibiotics to relieve a bacterial infection
· Antiviral medications to help kill off the virus responsible for your condition
· Counseling on proper contact lens care (dirty contacts can promote bacterial conjunctivitis)
· Home care with warm, wet towels and other methods to lessen secretions and soothe irritation
· Frequent hand-washing and not using other people's personal care products
Conjunctivitis may not be as bad as it looks -- but don't reach that conclusion on your own. Contact Alpine Vision in Colorado Springs, Falcon, and Windsor to arrange the soonest possible consultation and treatment from an optometrist on our experienced team. The sooner we treat your pink eye, the sooner it will go back to being a white eye! Contact us today at 719-520-3333.