Your Eyes Are Red! Is It Pink Eye?


When your eyes become red and itchy, one of your first thoughts is probably "Oh no, what if it's pink eye?" Though technically conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is defined as any inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye, the type of pink eye everyone fears is bacterial pink eye – a highly contagious and unpleasant infection. Here's how to determine whether you're suffering from bacterial pink eye or another ailment – and what to do if you think you might have bacterial pink eye.

Symptoms to Look For

If your eyes are dry and red with no discharge or just clear tearing, then what you're experiencing is probably due to allergies or a cold rather than bacterial pink eye. You can ease your symptoms by using moisturizing eye drops and taking over-the-counter antihistamines. Contact your physician if your eyes are not better within a couple of days or if the condition gets worse.

On the other hand, if the redness is accompanied by a yellow or green discharged, you have bacterial pink eye. Your eyelids will probably get stuck together after you've been asleep, and the itching will probably be quite intense. Do not put off contacting your physician in this case, since you'll need prompt antibiotic treatment to prevent damage to your eye.

Dealing with Bacterial Pink Eye

If you're pretty sure you have bacterial pink eye, make that call to your doctor. Then, follow these steps to make yourself comfortable in the meantime.

  • Soothe the itching by holding a warm compress, such as a wet wash cloth, over your eye. Use a new washcloth each time, and if only one eye is infected, be careful not to touch the uninfected eye with that washcloth. Wash your cloths in bleach water after each use to disinfect them.
  • If your eyelids get stuck together, do not pull them apart. Hold a warm, wet wash cloth over them until the discharge softens and you can open your eyes naturally.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce inflammation and itching.

Be very careful not to let others come into contact with your eye secretions. Wash your hands often, and do not share clothes, pillow cases, towels, or wash cloths. The bacteria that cause pink eye (often Staph and Strep species) are quite contagious.

When your eye doctor confirms your diagnosis, he or she will prescribe antibiotic eye drops for you to use. Your symptoms should clear up after a dose or two, but make sure you keep using the drops for the full recommended period to keep the infection from coming back. For more information about pink eye, contact an eye care provider such as the Montgomery Eye Center


14 December 2015

Getting Headaches? Pay the Optometrist a Visit!

My name is Natalie Hunter. I am 29 and an elementary teacher. I created this website because I recently discovered something and wanted to share it with others. I had been suffering headaches for the past year that seemed to be gradually growing in severity. I had tried over-the-counter medications, homeopathic remedies and even made appointments with my doctor. I was given a CT scan and tried prescription medications. Finally, the doctor asked if I have had my eyes checked, as eye strain and eye issues can also cause headaches. I made an appointment with an optometrist, received a prescription for eyeglasses and suddenly, my headaches went away. It seems easy, but I had no idea. If you have headaches, I hope my website helps you understand what to expect when visiting an optometrist and how it can help with your headaches.