What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye, causes inflammation in the transparent membrane lining the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. Any infection of that membrane, called the conjunctiva, causes inflammation in the inner blood vessels, making your eyes appear pink or reddish. If you’re planning on having LASIK surgery, you cannot move forward with the procedure until it’s completely cleared.
The most typical causes of conjunctivitis is a viral or bacterial infection inside the eye. You can also develop pink eye because of an allergic reaction. Babies may develop the condition if they have tear ducts that are not completely opened.
Conjunctivitis rarely affects a person’s vision, though it can cause a lot of irritation. The most common signs of pink eye in affected individuals include:
- A red or pink appearance of one or both eyes
- Tearing up in one or both eyes
- Feeling like something is present in one or both eyes
- Itchiness or irritation in one or both eyes
- Signs of discharge from one or both eyes that form crust overnight preventing the eye from opening
You should seek treatment from an eye care professional if the condition doesn’t clear up in a few days or you experience severe pain or light sensitivity. You should also stop wearing contact lenses once the first symptoms appear.
Milder instances of conjunctivitis clear up within several days, though cases caused by a viral infection may take up to three weeks. Your physician may prescribe antibiotic medical drops to encourage healing in cases caused by a bacterial infection. If the root cause is an allergic reaction, certain allergy medications and topical antihistamines may provide some relief.
Always consult with a doctor about the best course of treatment for conjunctivitis. At Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas, we make sure your eyes are completely healthy before moving forward with procedures like LASIK surgery.
Is Conjunctivitis Contagious?
Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious. Good hygiene is your best defense against developing conjunctivitis and interrupting your planned LASIK procedure. Some steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy include:
- Avoiding touching your eyes with your hands
- Washing your hands constantly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds
- Making sure you always use clean hand towels and wash towels
- Not share makeup or other eye products
- Wash and change your pillowcases regularly
- Discard any eye makeup or brushes used while you were infected
Following these practices allows you to resume normal daily activity if you remain consistent. Call Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas at (800) 714-2020 for more information on treating conjunctivitis and getting ready for LASIK surgery.