So What is Pink-eye anyway? Pink-eye is clinically known as Conjunctivitis; which literally translates to, inflammation of the conjunctiva, (The name for the mucous membrane on the inside of the eyelid). Did you know that there are more than one cause/type of Pink-Eye? The cause of pink eye is commonly a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction or — in babies — an incompletely opened tear duct. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pink-eye/DS00258
How can I tell the difference? Remember It is imperative to always consult with your primary health care provider. However, it is equally important to be able to recognize the associated signs and symptoms of this illness. As they say : “If you know your enemy consider yourself a step closer towards victory.” • By understanding Conjunctivitis you will: • Minimize the chances of becoming contaminated. • Recuperate at a faster rate , (if exposed). • Decrease the chances of a possible outbreak.
Recognizing the Signs: Understanding The Symptoms: Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes. Tearing, redness in one or both eyes, Itchiness in one or both eyes, A gritty feeling in one or both eyes, a discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night (usually with bacterial conjunctivitis). Signs and symptoms can last for up to 14 days.
Prevention is the Key • Recommendations: • Practice good hand hygiene . Washing your hands frequently is a simple and essential way to help prevent the spread and recontamination of conjunctivitis . • Be aware of allergens. Minimize your exposureto: Cleaning solutions containing powerful fumes, Pollen, dust, etc. • Be aware of shared items and/or common areas, i.e. telephones, door handles, chair handles, computers’ keyboards etc. (use a mild disinfectant, such as Lysol on a weekly basis to treat these items). • Frequently clean your eye-wear, especially contact lenses, follow the recommended guidelines to store contact lenses. If already diagnosed ,or experiencing signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis, refrain from wearing contact lenses until ALL signs and symptoms are completely gone.
…Conjunctivitis prevention continue: • Don't share eye cosmetics or personal eye-care items. • Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara. • Change your pillowcases often. • Don't share towels or washcloths. • Use a clean towel and washcloth daily. • Don't touch your eyes with your hands.
What if I think I have conjunctivitis? Your to-do list of Important things to consider when seeking medical treatment: • Call your insurance provider representative. This will help you familiarize yourself with your medical benefits. • Compare cost when choosing a provider, medical services, and treatment, i.e. specialist, tests, prescriptions, etc. • Consider generic prescriptions. They tend to be equally effective, and have a lesser out-of-pocket cost. • Make the necessary preparations to adhere, to your prescribed medical treatment as instructed. This will help you prevent worsening of your illness, which may lengthen your recovery time.
Pre-appointment Homework Questions to ask your doctor during your appointment: Questions that your doctor may ask: When did you begin experiencing symptoms? Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional? How severe are your symptoms? What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms? Do your symptoms affect one eye or both eyes? Do you use contact lenses? How do you clean your contact lenses? How often do you replace your contact lens storage case? Have you had close contact with anyone who has pink eye or cold or flue symptoms? • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition? • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition? • What kinds of tests do I need? • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me? • Don't hesitate to ask questions at any time that you don't understand something