Pink eye is an eye infection that causes inflammation of the conjunctiva. It is also called conjunctivitis. Often affecting young children, it is contagious and can sweep through playgrounds and preschools. Adults and teenagers can also get it.
Your child may complain about a scratchy feeling in their infected eye. They may also tear excessively. Their eyelid may swell slightly, and the whites of their eye become red or pink. Their eyelids can also become sticky when they sleep due to the discharge or pus from their eyes. It can collect at the corners of their eyes upon waking up.
Fortunately, pink eye is treatable. While it is very contagious, it also does not have long-lasting effects. However, the worst part is that it can stay up to two weeks and increase the risk of spreading to members of your family.
Your medical care professional or pediatrician will determine whether your child suffers from an allergy or pink eye. The symptoms are often similar. However, allergies affect both eyes. The pink eye starts in one, then later in the next.
Your pediatrician has the appropriate qualifications to make a correct diagnosis and treatment. Pink eye can be different, so a specialist will have to determine the type of pink eye it is to administer the appropriate treatment.
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics if the pink eye is due to bacteria. However, you may have to let it run its course if the cause is viral. It will be like a common cold. Your doctor can help treat allergies if they are what is causing the pink eye. Thus, you need an experienced and qualified professional to handle the issue.
Prevent pink eye from spreading by frequently washing everything your child uses regularly. Wash the bedsheets, clothing, and towels every often. Avoid sharing the items with your household. Keeping everything clean and disinfected lowers the risk of spreading pink eye from one eye to the other.
Cleaning cases and prescription glasses help prevent pink eye from spreading from one eye to the next one. Avoid contact lens use until your child is free of pink eye. Doing so will prevent the infection from reoccurring.
Keeping younger children from touching their eyes can be difficult. They often share playground equipment, art supplies, and toys. After doing so, they rub their eyes. Pink eye is often contagious among children.
The school management will likely call you to pick up your child if they realize your child has pink eye. You should keep them at home and take them back to school the next day after they start treatment. Consult your child’s pediatrician about when your child should interact with other kids.
Frequent washing of hands is the best way to prevent spreading pink eye. Children rub their eyes and touch their faces often. They do so, especially if they get itchy eyes. To avoid spreading pink eye from your child to you or other people in your home, ensure they wash their hands. Do so after giving them eye medication, and refrain from touching your eyes.
For more about pink eye, visit Miller Vision Center at our office in Norman, Oklahoma. Call (405) 389-4200 to book an appointment today.