Conjunctivitis Q&A

Conjuctivitis, or pink eye, is very common in young children and spreads rapidly through daycares and playgrounds. While minor, it's important to reach out to your child's pediatrician to ensure that they are properly diagnosed and treatment is implemented if needed. 

What causes conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye”, means inflammation along a specific part of the eye (the conjunctiva). It can be caused by infections (bacteria or viruses) or there can be noninfectious causes (allergies, local irritants, trauma, etc).

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

Typically, you’ll see redness along the white portion of the eye. Depending on the cause of conjunctivitis, you may see watery or goopy eye drainage, itching or burning of the eye(s), or light sensitivity. Sometimes, you’ll see both eyes are involved and sometimes just one.

Is conjunctivitis contagious?

Infectious conjunctivitis is contagious, but it may not always require treatment.

What is the difference between viral and bacterial conjunctivitis?

Bacterial conjunctivitis tends to have thicker drainage that increases throughout the day. Viral causes usually start as eye redness and can also have drainage, although the drainage may be clear or goopy. Viral conjunctivitis can often resolve on its own, while true bacterial conjunctivitis requires treatment. Viral causes (and sometimes bacterial) may also be associated with other symptoms (fever, sore throat, etc.). Testing for the type of conjunctivitis is not usually indicated (phew, because that would be unpleasant!); usually your doctor can determine if treatment is recommended based on details and exam findings.

What is the best treatment for conjunctivitis?

If treatment is indicated, prescription eye drops or eye ointment are recommended.

How long does conjunctivitis last?

Depending on the type, symptoms can last a few days OR up to a week or so (if true viral conjunctivitis).

Contact Peds East

If your child is showing symptoms of pink eye, contact our office to schedule an appointment. You can do so by calling our appointment line at  901-757-3535 or filling out our online form.

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Posted by Edie Miller at 13:20
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