How to Effectively Treat Pink Eye in Adults

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. This condition is common and rarely leads to serious health issues. However, pink eye in adults can be uncomfortable due to its symptoms, such as redness, itchiness, and a feeling of grittiness in one or both eyes. Understanding the type of pink eye you have is essential to determining the best course of treatment.


Causes of Pink Eye

The causes of pink eye vary based on the type of conjunctivitis you have. Viral conjunctivitis is usually caused by a virus, like the common cold. Bacterial conjunctivitis, as the name suggests, is caused by a bacterial infection. Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by the body's reaction to allergens such as pollen, dust, or pet dander.

Viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious and can spread easily, especially in crowded environments like schools and workplaces. On the other hand, an allergic pink eye isn't contagious. It's triggered by an allergic reaction and can occur seasonally when certain allergens are prevalent.

Understanding the cause of your pink eye is the first step in learning how to effectively treat pink eye.


How to Effectively Treat Pink Eye

Treating pink eye effectively often depends on the type and cause of the condition. Some forms of pink eye, such as those caused by viruses, don't require medical treatment and will improve on their own with time. Other forms, like bacterial pink eye, might require antibiotic eye drops.

Allergic conjunctivitis can be managed by avoiding the allergens causing the reaction and by using antihistamines. In addition, some general measures can help alleviate the discomfort associated with pink eye, such as applying a warm compress to the affected eye and avoiding wearing contact lenses until the condition improves.


Over-the-Counter Remedies

Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies can be effective in managing the symptoms of pink eye. Artificial tears can help relieve the dryness and itching associated with the condition. These can be used several times a day, as needed.

OTC allergy medications, such as oral antihistamines, can be helpful in treating allergic conjunctivitis. These medications can help reduce redness and itching. OTC decongestant eye drops can also help with redness, but they shouldn't be used for more than a few days as they can worsen the symptoms.


Medical Treatments

In some cases, medical treatment is necessary to treat pink eye. If the cause is bacterial, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotic eye drops, ointments, or pills to clear the infection.

In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, if OTC medications aren't effective, your doctor may prescribe stronger antihistamines or other medications to help control allergic reactions.


Seeking Medical Attention

While pink eye often resolves on its own, there are times when it's important to seek medical attention. If the symptoms persist for a week or more without improvement, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider.

If you experience severe pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or intense redness, seek medical help immediately. These could be signs of a more serious condition that needs prompt treatment.


Managing Pink Eye in Adults

Pink eye in adults can be a nuisance, but it's usually not serious. Understanding the type and cause of your pink eye is the first step in knowing how to effectively treat pink eye.

Over-the-counter remedies can often help with symptom management, but in some cases, medical treatment may be necessary. If symptoms persist or worsen, seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent complications.

Proper hygiene and care can prevent the spread of contagious forms of pink eye. Always wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes if you or someone around you has pink eye.

To learn more about how to effectively treat pink eye, contact Seabert Eye Care at our office in Burleson, Texas. Call (817) 857-8700 to Book An Appointment Today.