Pink Eyes - Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention
Sorry to burst your bubble but ‘Gulabi Ankhein’ are not romantic at all. Pink eye also known as conjunctivitis, is an infection of the In this article, we tell you about pink eye symptoms, pink eye causes, and pink eye treatment.“No, it’s not the colour of eyes. It’s an eye infection.”
Our eyes experience maximum stress. Extensive hours on smartphones, televisions, and computers put our eyes under tremendous stress.
An average American gets a screen time of about nine hours every day (including computers, televisions, cell phones, and tablets), and about 70 per cent of American adults experience eye strain due to exposure to digital screens.
Almost two-thirds of Indians agree that poor light quality damages eyesight.
According to the Philips Lighting survey, for most Indians, eye care is not treated at par with skincare and other health issues such as managing one's weight and fitness
levels. We do not have eye health education or eye fitness management in place.
With problems like myopia (short-sightedness) hitting record levels globally, the World Health Organisation predicts that one in two people will be short-sighted by the year 2050.
While so many eye problems loom right in front of our eyes, pink eye is an acceptable form of eye problem. However, prevention and care are necessary to heal it promptly.
What is Pink Eye?
It is a common eye inflammation on the white part of the eye and inside of the eyelids. It’s also called conjunctiva. No wonder, we commonly address pink eye as ‘conjunctivitis’ too.
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What causes pink eye?
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a viral or bacterial infection that irritates the eyes.
There are 3 kinds of conjunctivitis infections:
- Viral conjunctivitis
Here are some common symptoms of viral conjunctivitis:
- Pinkness or redness of the eye.
- Burning sensation or mild pain and discomfort in the infected eye.
- Watery discharge from eyes.
- Swollen eyelids.
- Viral conjunctivitis could also bring with it symptoms of viral infection like sore throat and runny nose.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis
The most common types of bacteria that are responsible for bacterial conjunctivitis are Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Its symptoms include thick puss-like discharge from the eye.
- Allergic conjunctivitis
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What are the common symptoms of pink eye or conjunctivitis?
The symptoms of the pink eye are easy to notice and can hardly go unseen. The main symptoms of the pink eye are:
- The eye turns pink.
- Watery eyes.
- Swollen eyes.
- Eye irritation and slight pain.
Treatment of pink eye or conjunctivitis
Red eye or pink eye can be a symptom of an underlying eye problem. Therefore, it is necessary to get it examined by an eye specialist or ophthalmologist to ensure what the problem is, before you pursue any treatment or opt for a home remedy.
Only an eye specialist will be able to diagnose the severity and type of infection.
Once your eye doctor permits you to apply home remedies, you could try these out:
- Take a clean cloth and soak it in cold water. Use it as a cool compress to soothe the burning sensation in your eyes. Make sure the cloth is clean and water is distilled.
- You could use eye drops to get relief from the symptoms. Eyedrops contain antihistamines which can be helpful for people with allergic conjunctivitis.
- Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes as it can make the infection spread. If you may touch your eyes, make sure to wash/sanitise your hands before doing it.
- Don’t wear contact lenses until the infection is fully cured.
Eye care for prevention
Preventing eye problem is better than curing them. Here, are a few eye care tips to keep your eyes free from any infection or disease:
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- Cleanse your eyes before you sleep. Wash your eyes gently with clean water.
- Avoid reading in the dark.
- Avoid watching television in the dark. Use dim light or lamp to reduce direct strain on your eyes.
- Keep your hands and devices clean with a sanitiser.
- Take vitamins. Look after your eyes inside out.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Take supplements like Lutein and Zeaxanthin. They are the ‘eye vitamins’ that prevent eye damage.
- Ensure that your diet is full of ‘reds’ and ‘greens’. Foods like broccoli, spinach, kale, orange pepper, zucchini, grapes, eggs, and green leafy vegetables are generally considered rich sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin have anti-ageing properties too. Need more reason to add them to your diet?
Nihaal Mariwala is the founder and CEO of Setu— a modern health supplement company.