Conjunctivitis Treatment with your Raleigh Optometrist
You can call it conjunctivitis, or you call it pink eye — but if you or your loved one is suffering from a bad bout of it, you may just call it miserable. This irritation of the eye membrane known as the conjunctiva can be painful, irritating, messy and embarrassing; certain varieties of it can also be highly contagious, and severe cases can even damage the cornea of the eye. Fortunately, our Raleigh optometrist here at Family Eye Care Center, Dr. Jeffrey Handschumacher, offers treatments that can shorten the duration of your affliction and help you feel better.
What Is Conjunctivitis?
The term “conjunctivitis” can refer to any irritation of the conjunctiva, a thin membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid as well as the sclera (the white of the eye). The conjunctiva normally adds protection against infection or trauma, but it can be vulnerable to such problems itself. While some forms of conjunctivitis can be caused by chemical exposure or injury, we usually think of it in terms of three primary causes:
- Viral conjunctivitis – Viruses can enter the eye (usually one eye or the other) via the mucous membranes, contact with virus-covered hands or even by blowing your nose when you have a cold. This contagious condition causes the characteristic pinkeye along with watering, itching and light sensitivity.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis – Bacterial conjunctivitis, a common problem in children, is characterized by a greenish, sticky mucous discharge from the eye that can cause the eyelids to stick together.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – Allergic reactions are yet another cause of pink eye. This condition creates symptoms similar to viral conjunctivitis, except that both eyes are equally affected and the condition may recur on a seasonal basis.
How Our Raleigh Optometrist Can Help
Conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own within a couple of weeks, but those weeks can be very unpleasant ones if you’re not receiving the proper care and treatment. The bacterial version, in particular, can progress and create complications such as corneal ulceration. Our Raleigh optometrist will examine the affected eye carefully and discuss your symptoms with you to determine which type of conjunctivitis you have, since different causes require different treatment methods. These methods may include:
- Oral or topical antibiotics to tame bacterial conjunctivitis
- Soothing eye drops to relieve irritation and clear mucous out of the eye
- Home care techniques such as warm, damp cloths to ease viral conjunctivitis symptoms
- Antihistamines or other allergy drugs to help you minimize conjunctivitis during allergy season
- Counseling on contact lens use and cleaning to reduce the odds of infecting the eye in the future
Put an End to Your Pink Eye — Call Our Eye Doctor Today
Don’t let pink eye put your ocular health and your quality of life on hold. Get the treatment you need by calling 919-981-4444 for an appointment with our eye doctor at Family Eye Care!