Conjunctivitis Treatment Specialist Q&A
Are your eyes itching? Do you have pink eye? You may have conjunctivitis, so don’t ignore it and visit today for comprehensive treatment! Call our team at Columbia Urgent Care or visit us online to book an appointment. We have Convenient Locations to Serve You at 82nd Ave, Mall 205, Division St, Tigard and Clackamas. Hours Vary By Location.
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Conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it is more commonly known, is the result of an infection or inflammation that affects the white part of the eyeball. The white part of the eyeball will appear to be either a pink or red color due to the transparent membrane that covers it, known as the conjunctiva, experiencing inflammation of the small blood vessels. This makes them more visible against the whites of the eye. The common causes of pink eye include an infection that is either bacterial or viral, an allergic reaction or a tear duct that hasn’t completely opened in babies.
Additionally, it can be caused by a splash of chemicals hitting the eye or a foreign object coming into contact with the eye. Cases of pink eye caused by a bacterial or viral infection can occur in conjunction with a cold or respiratory infection, with both types being highly contagious. Bacterial causes can be caused through the use of improperly cleaned contacts or wearing contacts belonging to someone else. Viral cases can be caused by a variety of viruses including adenovirus, herpes simplex, and varicella-zoster, among others.
The signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis, or pink eye, can vary depending on the cause of the condition and the severity of it. Symptoms can affect either just one eye or both eyes. Conjunctivitis gets its commonly known name of pink eye due to the primary, and most visible, symptom, which is redness in the eye that is easily noticed covering over the white part of the eye.
Additional symptoms of conjunctivitis include itching, which is particularly common in the case of allergy conjunctivitis, a gritty feeling in the eye, tearing up of the eye, and an abnormal discharge that comes out during the night and forms a crust that inhibits the ability to open the eye in the morning. There are other medical conditions that can cause a similar redness in the eyes, so people experiencing symptoms such as pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the feeling of having something in their eye should seek medical attention immediately in order to get a proper diagnosis.
A proper and accurate diagnosis of the cause of conjunctivitis will need to be done by your doctor to determine if the infection has been caused by a virus or bacteria. In most cases, doctors are able to make their diagnosis based on the symptoms a person is experiencing and their health history to see if there has been a recent infection in another part of the body.
With an increased move to virtual doctor’s visits, performed through a secure web-based platform, patients can often be diagnosed with pink eye, and the type of infection determined, without them having to see the doctor in person. Doctors do have the option to take a sample of any liquid that is draining from the affected eye in order to have it processed and analyzed through a lab. This isn’t commonly done as it is typically only deemed necessary for severe symptoms or if your doctor feels that your case has a high risk of serious outcomes.
The course of treatment used for conjunctivitis will be dependent on the type of infection or inflammation and what the source cause is. In most cases, treatment will be focused on treating the symptoms to provide some relief for the eyes while the infection is left to run its course. Steps patients can take to help manage symptoms of pink eye can include applying warm or cold compresses to the affected eye, using a wet cloth to clean the eyelids, and using artificial tears. Particularly with viral cases of conjunctivitis, antibiotics can be ineffective in treating pink eye and can actually cause further issues with the eyes.
Contact lens wearers will need to stop wearing their contacts immediately and dispose of them if they are disposables, or thoroughly disinfect them in the case of hard lenses. Your doctor can let you know any other steps to take in order to prevent further infections. If you or your child is experiencing symptoms of conjunctivitis and are looking for treatment options, Columbia Clinic Urgent Care provides walk-in treatment to patients of all ages for a variety of medical concerns, including pink eye. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.