What Causes Pink Eye?

What Causes Pink Eye?

Have you recently experienced symptoms of an eye infection? Whether you have been diagnosed or you haven’t visited an optometrist yet, you might ask this common question: What causes pink eye?

Here at Village Eyecare, we are working hard to provide the best education for our patients. We know that information can help you implement a healthy lifestyle to protect your vision. Our team is dedicated to your vision, and we will gladly answer your questions regarding eye health.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye,” is an eye infection. This term might sound scary, but it is a fairly common problem that can be treated easily. This disease is most common in school-age children, preschoolers, daycare workers, teachers, and anyone else who works with children. Close proximity of many people in a small area can increase the risk of spreading the disease if one person is infected.

When someone has pink eye, inflammation occurs in the clear, thin covering of the white portion of the eye. This inflammation can also be present inside of the eyelids. When an infection is present, it can lead to many symptoms, such as:

  • Watery eyes
  • Itching
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye discharge, usually green or yellow

What Causes Pink Eye?

Pink eye can be caused by three things: a virus, bacteria, or allergy. The most common type of pink eye is viral conjunctivitis, which spreads from one person to the next like a common cold. It is very contagious but can be treated with medication if needed.

If a person has a pink eye infection, then they could mistakenly pass the bacteria or virus to another person. For example, a child might rub their eye and then touch a toy. If another child or adult picks up the toy and then touches their eye, then the infection will spread. Viral pink eye can also be passed by sneezing or coughing.

Symptoms are similar for all types of pink eye. So, the best thing that you can do is schedule an eye exam for a diagnosis. Your Chicago optometrist will complete a diagnosis and offer treatment options to clear up the infection.

Preventing Pink Eye

The best thing that you can do to prevent pink eye is to be careful about interactions with other people who have this infection. If you are working with a child with an eye infection, then you should wash your hands frequently and help the child wash their hands as well.

If the infection is caused by an allergy, then you can talk to your doctor about allergy medications to reduce the symptoms. Sometimes, patients take medication during the allergy season before the symptoms begin.

If someone has an infection in their eye, then they will often ask our staff: What causes pink eye? We are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about this eye disease! If you need to learn more, then you are invited to schedule an eye exam.

At Village Eyecare, we are working hard to provide the best optometry services in the Chicago area. Visit one of our four convenient locations to talk to an eye care specialist for more information.