* Photo Courtesy of Beverly Hills Optometry
Summertime, it’s a time for lounging by the pool, fun in the sun, BBQs and bonfires. We often wear sunglasses to protect our eyes; however, that may not be enough for a common eye infection that is very prevalent in the summer months: pink eye [also called conjunctivitis]. Here’s a brief background about the three most common types of conjunctivitis: allergic, bacterial, and viral.
The first form is allergic conjunctivitis, which usually appears as red, glossy eyes in young patients — especially during the spring and summer months. As a parent, if you notice your child rubbing his or her eyes, seek the care of your eye doctor for recommendations on anti-histamine eye drops. Other symptoms to look out for include watery eyes. Common allergens include cosmetics, dust/pollen, contact lens over wear, or even food allergies. For chronic allergies, your eye care professional may recommend an allergist to identify and eliminate the cause.
Bacterial conjunctivitis, the second form, typically presents as a red, swollen eye with white-yellow mucus. Patients may notice slight to moderate itchiness with bacterial conjunctivitis; however, the allergic or viral forms tends to cause severe itchiness. With the appropriate topical antibiotic treatment, the symptoms should resolve within a few days to a week.
The third form — or viral conjunctivitis — is highly contagious when active. This form often starts after a recent upper respiratory tract infection or being in close contact with someone who is sick. Be cautious of individuals with an angry, red eye that may involve the fellow eye within a few days. Symptoms include itchy eyes, watery eyes and stuck eyelashes. Patients with viral conjunctivitis should adhere to washing their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes. Common treatments include preservative-free artificial tears, cool compress, and rarely steroid eye drops — if vision is reduced.
You don’t have to deal with a pink eye on your own. The earlier you get checked, the sooner you can get back to your routine and not hide behind sunglasses indoors.
About the Author
Dr Kambiz Silani is therapeutically board certified in the detection and treatment of eye diseases. He completed his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a background in psychology, sociology, and pre-optometry. He graduated Beta Sigma Kappa from Western University College of Optometry, with an emphasis in ocular disease, optometric rehabilitation, and Neuro-optometry. Dr. Silani owns and operates Beverly Hills Optometry. They provide diagnostic testing to ensure their patients receive the unsurpassed level of eye care. Beverly Hills Optometry emphasizes preventive, therapeutic and developmental care to allow patients to achieve their full potential.