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How To Get Rid Of Pink Eye Fast

How To Get Rid Of Pink Eye Fast

Answers To The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Pink Eye

  • How long is pink eye contagious?
  • Can I go to work with pink eye?
  • How can I get rid of pink eye fast?

We will answer all of your questions about pink eye in this article and help you know exactly what you can do for pink eye treatment.

Pink eye pictures

Pink eye is a catch all term for a red eye. True “pink eye” is caused by a virus. It has about a 7 day incubation period, followed by 7 days of symptoms, and 7 days of getting better. Certain viral strains can cause white blood cells to enter the cornea, which left untreated, can lead to a permanent change in vision.

Dr. Mark Bowers
Pink Eye Picture

What is pink eye?

Pink Eye is the common term used to describe a variety of eye infections or other irritations to the eye resulting in a pink or red coloring of the eye. The medical term for “pink eye” is Conjunctivitis.

There are three major types of conjunctivitis:

  • Viral Conjunctivitis
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis picture

So, then what is conjunctivitis?

According to the American Optometric Association,

“Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.”

Is Conjunctivitis Pink Eye?

As previously mentioned, “pink eye” is commonly used to refer to any of the types of conjunctivitis, however, allergic conjunctivitis is not truly “pink eye“. In fact, generally speaking when the term pink eye is used it is often in reference to infections of the eye caused by viruses and to a lesser degree bacteria.

Put another way,

All pink eye is conjunctivitis, but not all conjunctivitis is “pink eye”.

In this article, we will distinguish between pink eye and other types of conjunctivitis. Additionally, we will answer commonly asked questions about pink eye symptoms and pink eye treatment. We will help you discover how to know if you have pink eye and we will share how our eye doctors can help you get rid of pink eye fast!

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Pink Eye vs Allergies

We have established that there are three types of conjunctivitis, but that not all conjunctivitis is what we would call “pink eye”.  Allergic conjunctivitis symptoms differ from bacterial and viral conjunctivas symptoms.

While all three types of conjunctivitis may cause red eyes, allergic conjunctivitis typically:

  • includes itching eyes
  • seasonal in nature
  • accomponied by allergic rhinitis (sneezing, runny nose)
  • may be isolated to one eye, but often affects both eyes
Bacterial conjunctivitis

Viral vs Bacterial Conjunctivitis

It may be a little more difficult to determine the difference between viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis.  However, there is hallmark sign of bacterial conjunctivitis that distinguishes it from the typical signs of pink eye or viral conjunctivitis: MUCOUS 

Viral Conjunctivitis

  • swelling of the conjunctiva (white part of your eye)
  • watery dischargebegins in one eye, but quickly spreads to the other
  • Highly Contagious- virus can live on inanimate objects for several days
  • Sensation that something is in your eyes

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

  • affects one or both eyes
  • Sticky, yellow-greenish mucous discharge often in corner of the eye
  • contagious and is generally spread by touching the eye and then touching someone else without washing hands

For more information on eye allergies, read Relief For Eye Allergies & Itchy Eyes Caused By Seasonal Allergies.

Eye Infection Treatment

How To Know If You Have Pink Eye

Now that you know the signs of pink eye, how do you know if YOU have pink eye? The most sure way to know if you have pink eye or if you are suffering from bacterial or allergic conjunctivitis is to schedule an appointment with our eye doctors for an eye exam. 

Our staff and doctors will take a complete history and examine your eyes to determine if you have a viral pink eye, a bacterial eye infection, or if you are suffering from ocular allergies.

question mark

What To Do For Pink Eye

It is very important not to ignore pink eye. While it may be tempting to seek over the counter treatment for pink eye, it is vital to have a doctor examine your eyes to determine the type of eye infection you have.

We strongly recommend against using home remedies for pink eye.  Some types of bacterial and viral eye infections can be quite serious and if left untreated may even lead to blindness.

pink eye contagious

How Contagious Is Pink Eye?

Viral conjunctivitis is extremely contagious and can be spread in the same way as the common cold. The virus can live on inanimate objects for several days. Sneezing, coughing, or coming in close contact with someone with pink eye can easily spread the infection.

How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?

As long as you are still having symptoms of watery discharge, you are contagious. This is generally 7-10 days. We can shorten this dramatically if you get an exam within the first 1-2 days of pink eye symptoms.

Can I Go To Work With Pink Eye?

It is recommended that you stay home from work or school as long as you have any watery discharge or pink eye symptoms.  This is why we recommend an early diagnosis and early treatment.  We can help you shorten the duration of your symptoms and get back to work or school in a much shorter time.

How Can You Prevent Pink Eye?

Here are a few ways to prevent pink eye from spreading to others:

  • wash hands frequently
  • don’t share bath towels or wash cloths with family
  • avoid close contact
  • disinfect surfaces such as door knobs and counters

How Can I Get Rid Of Pink Eye Fast?

It is recommended that you stay home from work or school as long as you have any watery discharge or pink eye symptoms.  This is why we recommend an early diagnosis and early treatment.  We can help you shorten the duration of your symptoms and get back to work or school in a much shorter time.

If you want to get rid of pink eye fast, it is imperative that you be diagnosed within the first one or two days of symptoms by one of our eye doctors.

We offer an in office treatment that can reduce your symptoms down to three or four days rather than the typical seven to ten days. This treatment to cure pink eye fast allows you to get back to work or school quicker. Call our office or click the button below to schedule your pink eye evaluation now!

If our eye doctors diagnose your pink eye as a bacterial or allergic conjunctivitis, they can recommend and prescribe the best eye drops for your condition.

If you would like to learn more about our exceptional customer service and above and beyond eye exams go here. 

Here is one example of what our patients have to say about our services,

I have been “fighting” with my eyes watering for several years, but has gotten much worse over the past year. I am only 48 and should not be having this problem, but thought it was an irreversible side effect of dry eye rebound from Lasik Eye surgery from 17 years ago. Other providers have listened, but not tried anything more than the basic, “keep lubricating drops in your eyes”. Dr. Bowers took time to listen to me and even more time to assess my eyes. He found a very slight infection in the oil glands of one eye and allergic response in the other. He developed a plan to clear these issues up, with an additional plan to hopefully prevent from recurrence. Even if this does not work, I am ecstatic to have someone listen and at least try a solid plan of care. THANK YOU!!! Additionally, his staff is amazing! They are so personable and want to make sure you have a great experience. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone to go to them.

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