Treatment for Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis, which is more commonly referred to as pink eye, can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Conjunctivitis typically starts in one eye; if it is not treated quickly, it tends to spread to the other eye within a few days.
Conjunctivitis often gives the eyes a bright red appearance. It also causes the eye to release discharge. In some cases, discharge is so severe that the patient will wake up in the morning with a crusty build-up around the lids that makes it difficult to open the eyes.
Eye care is extremely important in promoting the overall health of the eyes. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we can diagnose pink eye and recommend a treatment for conjunctivitis that will allow our Merrillville, IN patients to manage the symptoms of pink eye and restore the health of the eyes.
Cleaning the Eyes
It is important that patients with conjunctivitis clean their eyes several times throughout the day. This will wash away any discharge from the eyes, and will also help prevent the spread of pink eye.
To properly clean the eyes, patients should get a wet cloth and gently swipe it over their closed eyelid. Patients should start at the inner corner of the eyelid and wipe out toward the ears. It’s not necessary to apply a lot of pressure, as this is simply intended to rinse away any discharge from the eyelids.
Artificial tears can also be used to lubricate and clean the eyes. However, do not allow the eye drop dispenser to come into contact with the infected eye.
To help the eyes stay clean and avoid re-infecting the eye, those who wear contacts should avoid doing so until their conjunctivitis has cleared up. Any hard lenses that are worn should be disinfected each night before wearing them again the next day.
In addition to cleaning the eyes and eyelids, patients should consider the use of cold compresses. Cold compresses can ease any inflammation that may develop in the eyelids. Cold compresses are also a good source of physical relief.
Many patients with conjunctivitis experience irritation and are tempted to scratch or rub at their eyes. Rubbing and scratching could damage the eyes and make the symptoms of conjunctivitis worse, so cold compresses are a good way to soothe the eyes without causing further harm. Cold compresses can be applied as often as needed to provide relief.
Many patients assume that they will be prescribed antibiotic eye drops to treat conjunctivitis, but this only happens in some cases. If the patient has bacterial pink eye, the condition can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.
Many pink eye cases are viral, which means antibiotics will be ineffective. When this occurs, we will gear treatment toward managing pink eye symptoms until the virus has run its course.
If our doctors suspect that conjunctivitis is linked to allergies, then over-the-counter allergy medication may be effective in relieving symptoms and assisting in the healing process.
At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, our experienced team of doctors offer a comprehensive range of eye care services, including eye exams, and the diagnosis and treatment of the most common eye conditions. If you would like to learn more about these services, or are simply in need of a routine eye exam, contact us at your earliest convenience.