Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the surface of the eyeball. It can be a result of infection or irritation of the eye, or it can be related to systemic diseases, such as Reiter syndrome. It is also commonly referred to as Pink Eye.
It’s important to understand the treatment we recommend and the potential risks involved.
Medicine We Prescribe
Risk of Side Effects
About 60 percent of patients nationwide are prescribed antibiotic eye drops, even though antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat this common eye infection. Of the patients filling antibiotic prescriptions, 20 percent filled prescriptions for antibiotic-steroid eye drops that can prolong or worsen the infection.
Risk of Misdiagnosis
Your symptoms could also be caused by seasonal allergies, a stye, iritis, chalazion (an inflammation of the gland along the eyelid), or blepharitis (an inflammation or infection of the skin along the eyelid). These conditions are not contagious. Pinkeye, if caused by a virus, is highly contagious.
Alternative Treatment Options
If you wear contact lenses, you should stop wearing them while you have pink eye. Use a new pair when you go back to wearing your contacts. Your old contacts are likely infected and could get you sick again if you wear them again. You should also stop wearing eye makeup while you have an infection. Throw out your old eye makeup and get new makeup once your eyes are healthy. If one or both of your eyes are red and uncomfortable, it could be allergic pink eye, viral pink eye or bacterial pink eye. Sometimes it’s easy to figure out what kind of pink eye you have and other times only a doctor can tell what’s causing the problem.