Pink eye is the popular name for the inflammation of the transparent layers of the eye, one covering the eye itself, and the other covering the interior side of an eyelid. This condition is scientifically called conjunctivitis and it is very wide-spread and common, especially among children but it can affect adults also, and even animals.
The result is that the white part of an eye becomes red or pink and the eyelids become swollen. Besides that, the affected eyes sometimes cannot be opened after waking up at all, because they tend to get glued.
Pink eye can be caused by some infection or not. Among the infections, the ones caused by viruses are the most common. The symptoms of this kind of an infection resemble those of the common cold. But, viral pink eye is very contagious and medical help should be sought, although the treatment with the antibiotics probably won’t be included.
When conjunctivitis is caused by a bacteria (most often by Streptococcus or Staphylococus), besides the common, already mentioned symptoms, there is also a certain amount of discharge, which is usually built up after sleep. If that happens, the glued parts of the skin of the eyelids should be softened with a fabric dipped into lukewarm water.
This is also recommended during further recovery process, along with antibiotic eye drops or creams. It is highly important to mention that every person should have a personal set of remedies, so that the disease couldn’t pass on or get more complicated, and that consulting the doctor is highly recommended.
If the eye gets infected by the bacteria called Chlamydia, one should bear in mind that it is a sexually transmitted disease, but in that case the pink eye problem usually gets solved with erythromycin.
Also, the conjunctivitis can be caused by an allergy. Besides that, not very often but possible, a kind of chemical irritation is the cause. In that case, one should wash the eyes as soon as possible under the large flow of water. Medical attention is a must, right after providing the first aid.
There is also a cause that should be mentioned, and that is the rupture of the capillaries of the subconjuctival area called a haemorrhage. This is likely to occur because of a trauma or an impact. But luckily, this condition is not very dangerous and, such as all the previously mentioned conditions, doesn’t put the vision in danger.
Sometimes, pink eye can be the consequence of some other disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.