You may not think of conjunctivitis as an ocular disease, but it is categorized as such. Often referred to as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is quite common, affecting over 3 million people annually. Defined as irritation or inflammation of the white part of the eyeball, known as the conjunctiva, it is characterized by the white part of your eye turning red, watering, and itching. In severe cases, the eyes may crust or discharge.
Is Conjunctivitis Contagious?
Certain forms of conjunctivitis are contagious. However, in order to catch conjunctivitis from another person, you will need to come into contact with their eye secretions. Unfortunately, by the time someone realizes they have this condition, they’ve likely already passed it on to others.
What Causes Conjunctivitis?
In most instances, conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, such as hay fever, or by bacterial or viral infections. It can also sometimes be caused by a contaminated foreign object or liquid in the eye. When newborns get conjunctivitis, the most common cause is a blocked tear duct.
See Your Eye Doctor For Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis can cause severe discomfort or even pain. It may negatively impact your ability to see well. If you feel that you may have conjunctivitis, contact your eye doctor in Austin, TX. Your eye doctor will be able to offer you something to make you more comfortable or even shorten the recovery time.
How is Conjunctivitis Treated?
If your conjunctivitis is allergy-related, it may be treated with antihistamines. If your eye doctor determines it to be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed.
Your eyesight is important. Should you have a severe case that has your eyes crusting or discharging, don’t hesitate to see your eye doctor, since a lack of treatment could result in other problems. Talk to your eye doctor to learn more about conjunctivitis.