What is Pink Eye?
Pink eye is the other name of conjunctivitis. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and joins with the cornea of the eyeball. It is commonly caused by an infection (could be viral or bacterial) or an allergic reaction. The viral or bacterial infections could cause contagious forms of pink eye which can spread easily to others through the air. The non-contagious forms usually caused by eye irritants in the environment, such as allergens, dust, smoke or other substances that cause allergic reaction. Pink eye is marked by redness and swelling, itching, pain, a feeling of roughness and light sensitivity. Since the same symptoms could occur in different types of eye problems, it is better for you to consult with your eye doctor before having further treatments.
Pink eye does not only occur in adults. Children, even newborn babies, can also have this kind of eye problem. A baby can obtain a bacterial infection during the birth process while making contact with the mother. These are some tips to prevent pink eye:
- Wash your hands frequently (using the soap), to keep pink eye from spreading.
- Do not share personal items, including washcloth, towels, pillowcases, eye drops or cosmetics (such as eyeliner, eye shadow or mascara) with anyone at home or in a public environment.
- Teach children to use tissues and cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching the corner of your eyes to avoid spread of bacteria and viruses.
- Use antiseptic to clean the surfaces of toys, table tops, drinking fountains, sinks and faucet handles.
- Clean the house frequently to eliminate allergens.
- Protect yourself, when you’re exposed to smoke, dust, chemicals or other allergens. It is better to stay in well ventilated areas.
- Use swim goggles when swimming to protect your eyes from chlorinated water in pools which can cause allergic conjunctivitis.
- If you wear contact lens, make sure to follow the strict cleaning and handling instructions taught by the eye care practitioner. It is important to avoid bacterial contamination of the contact lens.