Treatment for Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) in Chicago
Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is one of those highly contagious diseases that we often see transferred from one young child to another on the playground or in the classroom. Anyone can contract conjunctivitis, but it is especially common in children.
What Causes Conjunctivitis?
To determine the cause of a particular case of conjunctivitis, it is important to first understand the three types of conjunctivitis:
- Infectious conjunctivitis – The most common form of conjunctivitis is bacterial, which is often the result of poor hygiene, close physical contact with other, insect carriers, or outdated cosmetic products. An especially severe bacterial infection of the eyes called ophthalmia neonatorum can damage an infant’s eyesight if not treated right away. Viral infections are also a common source of conjunctivitis, which normally spread from the patient themselves while they are simultaneously dealing with a respiratory illness.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – Some individuals are at risk for recurrent instances of pink eye due to their allergies. Peak seasons like spring or summer can be especially troublesome in this type of situation.
- Chemical conjunctivitis – External irritants like pollution can also lead to conjunctivitis when these noxious chemicals make their way into the eyes.
Typical Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
Aside from the obvious pink or red coloring of the eye, patients with conjunctivitis may also experience the following symptoms:
- Grit within the affected eye(s)
- Swollen eyelids
- An itching or burning sensation of the eyes
- Heightened sensitivity to light
- Discharge from the eyes
- Watery eyes
Diagnosing and Treating Conjunctivitis
It will be fairly easy for a healthcare provider at Premier Urgent Care to diagnose a case of conjunctivitis given the unique symptoms of the disease. Since conjunctivitis can be contracted via multiple sources, your provider may ask you a few questions about your health history to determine an exact cause of the conjunctivitis, which will in turn determine the optimal treatment method.
Most patients with conjunctivitis are given antibiotic eye drops to treat the disease, as is the case with the majority of bacterial, allergic, and chemical strains of conjunctivitis. Viral forms of this disease will specifically only be able to heal by letting the infection run its course over a period of about two weeks. More mild forms of allergic or chemical conjunctivitis may be curable by carefully rinsing the affected area with a saline solution.
It is also advised to practice the following behaviors in order to avoid or quickly treat a case of conjunctivitis:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Refrain from touching the eyes with your hands
- Get rid of eye cosmetics by their proposed expiration date, and do not share eye cosmetics with another person
- If you use a facial towel daily, make sure to replace it with a new one each time it is used
- Dutifully follow all instructions provided by your healthcare provider at Premier Urgent Care when it comes to the treatment of your conjunctivitis
If you or your child have developed any of the typical symptoms of conjunctivitis, visit Premier Urgent Care in Chicago, IL for treatment. For more information about seeking treatment for conjunctivitis, contact our office at (773) 891-2890.