Look closely at your eye and notice the clear membrane that covers the sclera, or white part of your eye. That clear membrane is called the conjunctiva and can sometimes become infected. Once infected, your conjunctiva can become inflamed and turn a reddish color, which is where we get the term “pink-eye.” AllKids Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care offers some good tips below on what to do when pink eye strikes.
Conjunctivitis can be quite alarming because it tends to spread quickly and can be the source of great discomfort. Pink eye often starts in one eye, but then quickly spreads to the other. It is especially scary when your child gets it. Kids of all ages, even newborns, are susceptible to pink eye because of their high exposure to bacteria.
Once a child has pink eye, they sometimes develop ear infections caused by the same bacteria. Allergies and common cold viruses are also known to cause pink eye.
One important thing to remember when it comes to pink eye is that it is very contagious and can spread easily. A child may come in contact with the bacteria that causes pink eye by simply touching another child with the infection. That is why most doctors will encourage parents to keep their kids home from school if they have pink eye. It is also important to have your child wash their hands often to avoid spreading it to others in your family.
Not only is pink eye contagious, but also irritating and painful. It causes a severe itching that is very difficult to ignore, even for adults. Because you want your child to avoid contact with the infected area, it is a good idea to find ways to reduce the irritation as much as possible. Sometimes, a cold or warm compress can help to alleviate the irritation. If the pink eye is causing drainage or discharge from your child’s eyes, you can carefully clean it with warm water and a cotton ball.
In some cases, if pink eye is caused by a viral infection, the only thing to do is wait and let the virus run its course. If it is caused by a bacterial infection, then it is a good idea to get your child in to see a doctor who can prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments for babies. This can help to reduce pain much sooner.
Remember to avoid touching your child’s eyes and help them avoid contact with their eyes as well. Have them wash their hands frequently. To diagnose the cause of your child’s pink eye or receive medical treatment for symptoms immediately, call AllKids Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care today at 480-633-1111.