Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a prevalent eye condition affecting people of all ages. It manifests as redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva, causing discomfort and sometimes affecting vision. Understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for prompt management and preventing its spread.
Causes: Conjunctivitis can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infections, allergies, irritants like smoke or chlorine in swimming pools, or even fungi. It is highly contagious and can spread through direct or indirect contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.
Symptoms: The hallmark signs of pink eye include redness in the white part of the eye, itchiness, a gritty feeling, excessive tearing, discharge (which may be watery or thick and yellowish), and sensitivity to light. These symptoms may affect one or both eyes.
Treatment and Prevention: Treatment options depend on the underlying cause of pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis often resolves on its own within a week or two, while bacterial conjunctivitis may require antibiotics. Allergic conjunctivitis can be managed by avoiding allergens and using antihistamines. To prevent spreading pink eye, frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the eyes, and refraining from sharing personal items like towels or makeup are crucial.