What is Pink Eye?
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the clear membrane that
covers the eye and the inner part of the eyelid. It is a common condition,
and easily treatable and usually causes no long-term damage.
Pink eye causes the inner lining of the eyelids and sclera (the white part
of the eye) to become alarmingly red. The child may wake up with discharge
or crustiness in their eye(s). Usually, it feels like there is an irritation
in the eye.
Allergies, bacteria or a virus may cause pink eye. Viral and bacterial
pink eye are both highly contagious and spread very easily. Since most
cases of pink eye are viral, for which there is usually no medical treatment,
preventing its spread is important. Good hand-washing and avoiding touching
eyes is the best way to prevent spread.
Only a physician can diagnose viral versus bacterial conjunctivitis. Below
is a chart for reference only. It is not intended to replace evaluation
by a doctor.
If your pink eye is caused by a common viral infection and no other complications
occur, then your eyes should clear up within a few days to two weeks.
Pink eye also can be caused by bacterial conjunctivitis, which —
even with treatment such as prescription antibiotic eye drops —
can last up to a month or longer.
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) generally remains contagious as long as your
child is experiencing tearing and matted eyes. When tearing and matted
eyes are no longer present, it's appropriate for a child to return
to school or child care. If your doctor determines it to be bacterial
conjunctivitis, and prescribes antibiotic drops, they can return to school
the next day.
Call our office if you have any questions — (818) 767-8382, ext. 240.