Pink Eye/Eye complaints
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Patient education: EYE COMPLAINTS
Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” is inflammation of the white of the eye. It is the most common cause of eye redness. Typical symptoms include eye discharge, burning or gritty feeling, crusting of the eye, eyes feeling stuck shut (especially in the morning), and upper respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, etc). It is typically due to a viral infection, but bacterial agents can also cause infection, and it is difficult to tell them apart. Therefore it is common to treat for bacteria to error on the side of caution. In addition, 24 hours of antibacterial eye drops are sometimes required prior to return to school or work, but again, this doesn’t do anything to viral infections.
Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the surfaces of the eyelids and the whites of the eyes due to allergens in the air that come in contact with the eye. Symptoms include severely itchy, red, and watery eyes, and may also include burning, sensitivity to light, and swelling of the eyelids. Symptoms can be severe, although they usually resolve within 24 hours of removal of the allergen. They may also be accompanied by symptoms of allergic rhinitis like runny and stuffy nose. Symptoms may be sudden in onset aka “acute” like when coming into contact with cat dander, “seasonal” from tree/ grass/ weed pollens, or year-round aka
Eyedrops are most easily applied by pulling down on the cheek just below the lower eyelid. The lower lid will pop out to form a pouch into which you can drop the medicine. A small brief sting is not unusual, especially if the eye is reddened and irritable already. Use the drops exactly as recommended. You should see the doctor at once if there is a decrease in vision, swelling of the eye, or an increase in discomfort.
Krieger Opthomology- Main Appointment line: 410-601-2020
If you are unable to get a timely appointment, or if you are worsening, call us. If you need additional assistance with finding a primary provider or specialist, please call: 410-601-9355