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Conjunctivitis and Pink Eye Treatment from Our Sammamish Optometrist

Man with pink eye

While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are three types of conjunctivitis: viral, bacterial and allergic, and only viral conjunctivitis is traditionally called ‘pink eye’ by eye care professionals. While conjunctivitis sounds scary, it’s actually a very common eye condition treated by our Sammamish optometrist at NewVision EyeCare.

What is Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye?

There is a thin, transparent layer that covers the whites of the eye called conjunctiva, and it contains blood vessels that overlay the eye’s sclera. When these vessels become irritated, they dilate and cause red, bloodshot eyes. Again there are three different forms of conjunctivitis, each with their own set of causes, symptoms and treatment solutions.

The Causes and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

All cases of conjunctivitis cause reddening of the eye, which is why it’s so commonly called a pink eye. However, the causes and additional symptoms will vary depending on the type of conjunctivitis one has.

Viral Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye — This type of pink eye is highly contagious and is typically caused by a virus such as the common cold. In fact, it’s often spread by coughing and sneezing and can be spread to both eyes through touch. Beyond redness and discomfort, the eyes may become watery, itchy and sensitive to light.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis — Caused by some type of bacterial infection, this condition is typically accompanied by yellow-green eye discharge that crusts the eyes together—especially after sleeping. Both eyes can be affected, as this type of conjunctivitis is also spread through touch and direct contact with infected items (such as washcloths).

Allergic Conjunctivitis — Typically caused by environmental exposures such as dust, dander, pollen, mold, mildew, smog etc. allergic conjunctivitis causes red, itching eyes that burn and may be accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose and light sensitivity, too. While it’s not contagious, this condition is uncomfortable, as it affects both eyes simultaneously.

Pink Eye Treatment in Sammamish, WA

After an evaluation and diagnosis from our Sammamish optometrist Dr. Kerry Moscovitz, patients receive an appropriate course of treatment depending on their form of conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis typically clears up on its own in a few days and can get temporary symptom relief with cold cloth compresses. Bacterial conjunctivitis usually clears up with the help of prescription antibiotics and/or eye drops or ointments. Allergic conjunctivitis can be cleared up and even prevented typically with allergy medications and through avoiding triggers.

Need Pink Eye Treatment or Regular Eye Care?

Contact NewVision Eyecare in Sammamish, WA at (425) 392-2196 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kerry Moscovitz today. We understand emergency situations like pink eye must be treated aggressively, so we can often see walk-in patients quickly, too.