The Eye Gallery

Conjunctivitis in Wichita

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Helping You Prevent & Manage Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, also commonly known as pink eye, is the inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering the whites of the eyes and inner eyelids.

Pink eye can be uncomfortable, irritating, and painful, but rarely affects vision and likely won’t lead to long-term consequences.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the severity of your symptoms and alleviate discomfort while minimizing the spread of the oft contagious eye conditions.

What Causes of Conjunctivitis?

Pink eye can be caused by several different things, from the environment around us to pathogens spread from person to person. Each unique cause of pink eye responds best to treatments explicitly designed for it.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection and is highly contagious. It usually presents with green or yellowish discharge and requires treatment with antibiotics. Several different types of bacteria can cause bacterial conjunctivitis, and in most cases, the transmission is done via hand/eye contact.

Viral conjunctivitis is also highly contagious and can spread quickly. Many different viruses can cause viral pink eye, like those responsible for the common cold, flu, and respiratory infections, including the coronavirus (COVID-19).

There’s no treatment for viral conjunctivitis, so it will need to run its course, which usually takes about 4 to 7 days. However, symptoms can be managed with eye drops or supportive therapy, like warm compresses. We will provide you a specific course of treatment based on the cause and severity of your symptoms.

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the body has an allergic response to external stimuli. Seasonal allergy sufferers, like those with hay fever, are at risk of developing allergic pink eye. Treating and managing your allergies will often provide relief for pink eye symptoms as well.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The most obvious symptom is visible reddening of the conjunctiva, which lines the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. This symptom is what has given conjunctivitis its “pink eye” namesake.

Other symptoms include:

  • Increased tear production (watery eyes)
  • Burning, itchy, and scratchy sensations in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Thick, yellowish discharge from the eye (bacterial conjunctivitis)
  • Thin, watery eye discharge (viral conjunctivitis)

How to Prevent Pink Eye

Because viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious, if you have symptoms, you can reduce the spread by practicing proper hygiene:

  • Don’t touch your face or eyes.
  • Wash your hands often and properly.
  • Use a clean washcloth and towel daily.
  • Do not share towels or washcloths with others.
  • Regularly change and clean your pillowcase.
  • Throw away your eye cosmetics (mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, etc.).
  • Do not share eye cosmetics with others.

Visit Our Optometry Practice for Pink Eye Diagnosis & Treatment

A visit to our Wichita clinic is usually faster than a visit to the walk-in clinic. We can diagnose the cause of your case of conjunctivitis and provide the appropriate customized treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

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