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West Chester Pink Eye and Eye Infections

Pink Eye and Eye Infections at AFC Urgent Care West Chester

Have you noticed your eyes turning pink and becoming irritated? Is discharge from your eyes gumming up your lashes? While you may initially think this is just seasonal allergies, you may have conjunctivitis. Also known as Pink Eye, a provider must take care of this condition so you can recover quickly from it.

What is pink eye?

Pink eye occurs when there is an infection of tissue that lines the inside of your eyelids and covers the white parts of your eye. This tissue is thin and transparent, but the blood vessels inside the eye will become inflamed. They turn the eyes pink when inflamed, hence the name "Pink Eye." Another common symptom is a discharge from the eye as your immune system attempts to fight the infection. Pink eye, depending on what has caused the infection, can be highly contagious. It can quickly spread through a household, workforce, or classroom, so it must be evaluated immediately. Fortunately, with treatment, pink eye is not a severe condition, and it is doubtful that it will damage an eye or someone's vision. However, it is vital that someone with pink eye follows a provider's instructions and has it treated quickly and effectively. The providers at AFC Urgent Care West Chester are ready to help!

What are the causes of pink eye?

Generally, there are three causes of pink eye that our providers will be able to determine.

Viral conjunctivitis

A viral infection is the most common type of Pink Eye. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by the same virus that will cause the common cold and give someone a runny nose or a sore throat. Pink Eye caused by a viral infection is highly contagious and can impact one or both eyes.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

A sign of bacterial conjunctivitis is usually gobs of sticky pus that form in the eye along with the pink color of the whites of the eyes. With that said, some bacterial infections will produce no discharge. The bacteria that cause pink eye can be the same that causes strep throat. Like its viral cousin, bacterial conjunctivitis is also highly contagious.

Allergic conjunctivitis

Allergens can cause inflammation of the eye and cause pink eye. However, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious. Instead, your eye has an allergic reaction to a specific substance, such as animal dander, chlorine, pollen, cigarette smoke, or something else. Pink eyes caused by allergies mainly cause itchy eyes, but eyelids can also turn red, tear up, feel burny, or become puffy.

How does bacterial and viral pink eye spread?

Some of the most common ways pink eye caused by a virus or bacteria spread include:

  • Neglecting to clean contact lenses properly.
  • Using poorly fitting lenses.
  • Exposure to an infected person's fluids from eyes, usually due to hand-to-eye contact.
  • Spreading bacteria from someone's nose to their eyes, spreading bacteria or a virus.
  • Coming into contact with children with pink eye, who frequently touch their faces, eyes, and other things without practicing good hygiene.

What symptoms indicate I have pink eye?

The symptoms someone may have when they have pink may vary, but the most common ones include:

  • Puffy eyelids
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling of grit or an eyelash in your eye
  • Hazy vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, burning, watery, or itchy eyes
  • Pain (usually in the bacterial form)

When the cause of pink eye is bacterial, thick globs of pus, yellow discharge, or mucus will often discharge from the eye. At night, the mucus may crust over eyelashes and dry. This may make it difficult to open the eyes, causing someone to pry open their eyes with a warm, wet washcloth in the morning.

When should you go to AFC Urgent Care West Chester for pink eye?

It is generally recommended to come to AFC Urgent Care West Chester if you experience the following:

  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Have pink eye symptoms that last more than a week
  • Have pink eye symptoms that are getting worse
  • Being sensitive to light
  • Having difficulty seeing
  • Recently scratched your eye
  • Wear contacts while having pink eye symptoms
  • Have other signs of an infection, like a fever or chills
  • In pain

How will a provider at AFC Urgent Care West Chester treat pink eye?

The cause behind pink eye will determine the course of treatment.

Viral Conjunctivitis - Unfortunately, there is no specific or single direct treatment for viral infections. Symptoms often can be relieved with over-the-counter oral painkillers and cool compresses applied on the eyes several times a day. Viral pink usually goes away within a week or two.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis - A provider may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. Completing the entire treatment regimen is essential, even though you may no longer have symptoms. This will ensure the infection is cleared so it does not come back.

Allergic Conjunctivitis - You may be prescribed special artificial tears, and be recommended to apply cool compresses to the eye area. Over-the-counter eye drops may cause further irritation, so it is important to seek medical evaluation and appropriate treatment. Also, our provider can work with you to determine the source of the allergic reaction if it is unknown.

If you think you or a family member may have pink eye, come to AFC Urgent Care West Chester today for an evaluation. Our skilled providers will be able to evaluate you and diagnose your symptoms.

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