Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is an infection of the conjunctiva, a clear mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of your eye. The infection causes blood vessel inflammation, which is what makes the eye appear pink. Because pink eye is contagious, speedy diagnosis and treatment can help limit its spread to other people.
If you or your child shows signs of pink eye, call Fast Track Urgent Care at 800-417-1164, contact us online, or stop by our Silver Spring or Kensington clinic for diagnosis and treatment! We’re open seven days a week, and you don’t need an appointment to see a doctor.
Signs You Have Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergies. A chemical splash or foreign object in the eye can also cause this condition. Adults and children alike may contract pink eye, though bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children. Pink eye is irritating, but it rarely causes vision impairment. Symptoms may appear in one or both eyes and include:
- Eye redness and itchiness
- Gritty feeling in the eye
- Excessive tear production
- Goopy discharge that may harden and prevent the eye from opening after sleeping
How to Treat Pink Eye
Before treatment can begin, the doctor first examines your eyes. A lab test may be necessary if you have severe conjunctivitis, your corneas are infected, or you’ve had repeat infections that don’t respond to treatment. The type of care you receive depends on the type of pink eye you have:
- Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thick, greenish-yellow discharge. Over 50% of bacterial pink eye clears up after one to two weeks with no treatment necessary. However, antibiotic eye drops or ointment may help speed up the healing process.
- Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a waterier discharge. Most of the time, no treatment is available for this form of pink eye. It often starts in one eye and then infects the other after a few days. Your symptoms should clear up in one to two weeks as the virus runs its course.
- Allergic conjunctivitis is usually accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms. Your doctor may suggest allergy testing to determine the cause of your condition. Prescription eye drops are often helpful for people prone to allergic conjunctivitis.
How to Avoid Contracting Pink Eye
Bacterial and viral forms of conjunctivitis are very contagious. The condition spreads through direct or indirect contact with the eye discharge of an infected person. To help prevent getting pink eye, follow these good hygiene practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes with your hands.
- Wash towels and washcloths often.
- Don’t share towels and washcloths, especially those used to wash and dry your face.
- Wash bedding often, especially pillow cases, in hot water.
- Avoid swimming pools.
- Throw away mascara after three months of use.
- Don’t share cosmetics, especially eye makeup, with anyone.
- Don’t share contact lenses.
- Don’t allow eye droppers to touch any surface or they could become contaminated.
- If you’re on antibiotics for pink eye, take the medication for the entire prescribed period.
Come to Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring or Kensington for Pink Eye Diagnosis and Treatment
When you suddenly come down with pink eye, you want high-quality, compassionate urgent care in a modern clinic. Fast Track Urgent Care offers these benefits at our convenient Silver Spring and Kensington locations. Let our knowledgeable staff diagnose your condition and begin pink eye treatment if necessary.
Stop by today, no appointment necessary, or call Fast Track Urgent Care at 800-417-1164 to learn more!