FAQ - Pink Eye

Frequently Asked Questions About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) in Elko, NV

eye treated after a case of pink eye in Elko, NV

No matter how fond you may be of the color pink, its one color you don't want to see in your eyes. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can cause extreme discomfort, vision problems and worse if it goes on too long without the necessary treatment from an eye doctor. Here some answers to frequently asked questions about pink eye from our Total Eyecare team in Elko, Nevada.

  • What exactly does "pink eye" refer to? "Pink eye" refers to any kind of conjunctivitis, an inflammation of a membrane called the conjunctiva where the eyelid meets the front of the eye. The nickname comes from the fact that the white of the eye takes on a pinkish or reddish hue.

  • What causes pink eye? Conjunctivitis can actually be caused by many different things, including foreign bodies and seasonal allergens. Most of the time, however, it's caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

  • What symptoms can I expect to experience? Apart from the telltale pink coloration of the eye, conjunctiva may cause eye watering or a thick discharge from the eye, as well as swollen eyelids, burning and itching. If you develop it in one eye, chances are you'll also develop it in the other.

  • Do different forms of conjunctivitis produce different symptoms? Sometimes they do, and that's one way your eye doctor can determine your underlying issue. For instance, viral conjunctivitis is more like to produce a thin, watery discharge, while bacterial conjunctivitis produces a thicker discharge.

  • How is pink eye treated? We treat infectious pink eye by prescribing the necessary antiviral or antibacterial medications to kill the underlying infection. Seasonal conjunctivitis may respond to allergy medications. Your optometrist can also advise you on how to soothe and cleanse your eyes at home until they recover. 

  • What happens if I don't get treatment? Many cases of conjunctivitis can clear up spontaneously without medical treatment within a couple of weeks. But if your case drags on and on, the cornea can eventually sustain a permanent injury that impairs your vision. Infectious conjunctivitis is also very easy to spread to others, so the sooner you clear it up, the better for all concerned.

  • How can I avoid pink eye in the future? If you wear contact lenses, make sure you clean them regularly and wear them only as directed to prevent exposing the eye to infectious agents and foreign bodies. Wash your hands frequently. Don't use other people's eye makeup, face towels or other personal face products -- you never know might be harboring a case of conjunctivitis.

Get Treatment for Pink Eye from our Elko, NV Optometrist

Now that you know more about pink eye, don't let the condition sabotage your quality of life or even your long-term visual acuity. Call Total Eyecare in Elko, NV today at (775) 738-8491 to schedule an appointment with our optometrist. We can help you feel better faster and keep future conjunctivitis bouts at bay!