Eye Infections and Pink Eye: When to Call an Optometrist

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

Most school-aged children will get pink eye at least once. As a parent, you have probably been through one or more rounds of eye infections because it is common for these germs to be spread among schoolmates and friends.

Even though pink eye is a common condition, you need to learn about this ailment to know the best ways to handle the situation. Here are a few things that you should learn:

What is Pink Eye?

When the white area of the eye turns pink, it could be due to an infection or irritation. The thin, clear covering on the surface of the eye is inflamed, indicating there is a problem that needs to be solved.

The conjunctiva of the eye contains tiny blood vessels, which are usually nearly transparent in a healthy eye. When the blood vessels become inflamed, they dilate, which causes the eye to take on a bloodshot appearance.

Pink eye is often caused by a virus that is contagious through contact, known as viral conjunctivitis. The eye infections can also be caused by a bacteria or allergies that result from eye irritants.

Treatment Suggestions for Pink Eye

Eye infection treatments vary depending on the cause of the infection and the symptoms that are present. So, the best thing that you can do is schedule an appointment with an eye doctor for a diagnosis. Viral conjunctivitis doesn’t need medication, but at-home treatments can be used to relieve symptoms. Warm or cold compresses can be made with wet washcloths to minimize the discomfort of the infection.

If the infection is caused by bacteria, then antibiotic eye drops might be needed to clear up the infection. For allergy-related eye infections, allergy medications can be used to reduce the symptoms.

Prevent the Spread of Eye Infections

With viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, it is important to be careful about spreading the infection. It is best to avoid touching the eye. Always wash your hands well, especially after touching the eye. Encourage your child to wash their hands with soap and warm water throughout the day to minimize the risk of passing the infection to other people.

Do you suspect that your child has an eye infection? Then it is time to schedule an appointment with a local optometrist. Call our Temecula office at (951) 302-1331 or our Murrieta office at (951) 600-9226.

Posted in: Eye Health