What is Pink Eye?

What is Pink Eye and what should you do if you have it?
Pink eye is the common term for conjunctivitis. It is characterized by swelling of the mucus membrane that surrounds the surface of the eye, the conjunctiva. When the eye is healthy this membrane is clear. When you have pink eye, the lining becomes red and swollen. The condition is quite common and is generally not serious. it does not require medical treatment and should be gone in 7 to 10 days. The most common causes of the condition are infections, dry eyes, exposure to fumes, smoke or chemicals, and allergies. 
Although the common pink eye is not serious and goes away in days, the viral pink eye and the bacterial pink eye are contagious. 
Viral Pink Eye 
Viral pink eye is caused by an adenovirus that also causes respiratory viruses. It can also be caused by the herpes virus. If the pink eye is caused by a virus, it will last from 3 to 5 days. However, in some cases it can last for weeks and becomes chronic. Since it is caused by a virus, there is no need for treatment; unless it is caused by the herpes virus. In the case of herpes virus, you need to see an eye specialist for the right antiviral medicine. 
Symptoms of Viral Pink Eye

Eye redness
Eyelids are swollen
Itching or pain of the eyelids
Tenderness in the front of ears
Tearing, sticky drainage 

Viral Pink Eye considered serious if 

You have an impaired immune system
You are wearing contact lenses
You have only one good eye 

Bacterial Pink Eye 
Bacterial Pink Eye occurs when bacteria enter the eye and cause infection. Bacterial pink eye lasts for about 7 to 10 days. If it is treated with an antibiotic, it can last for 2 to 4 days. 
Symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye

Eye redness
Drainage, usually yellow or gray in color
Mild pain
Upper eyelid swelling

What is Pink Eye due to allergy?
Pink eye due to an allergy is called allergic conjunctivitis. Since it is caused or associated with an allergy, the pink eye will disappear once the allergy is treated. 
Symptoms of Pink Eye due to Allergy

Eye redness
Itchiness in the eyes
Eyelid swelling
Blurred vision

What is the difference between Pink Eye and Red Eye?
Red eye is a common term for redness on the eye and its surrounding areas. This may include pink eye and other conditions. Some of the more common causes of red eye are foreign objects in the eye, sores or injury to the eye, glaucoma, and eye infection. 
If you have pink eye or red eye, it is best to see an eye specialist. Although pink eye and red eye may be gone in just several days even without treatment, there may be serious possible causes. In the case of red eye, one of the possible causes is glaucoma. An eye and laser eye surgery clinic can provide you with the best treatment, such as LASIK. For example, Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, one of the leading eye centers in Houston, offers the latest technology in vision correction treatment. 
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com. 
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.  

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