Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, occurs when the conjunctiva of the eye becomes inflamed. The conjunctiva is a transparent membrane that protects the interior of the eyelids and the part of the eye that we can see.
Conjunctivitis can look really nasty and be very uncomfortable, but it is not usually a serious condition.
When you first notice, it alarm signals can ring loudly.In almost all cases, pinkeye does not cause any permanent damage to your eyesight.
Make sure that you see a doctor so that you can get it diagnosed and treated as early as you can. Even though it rarely causes long term problems it can be extremely contagious and a lengthy problem can lead to damage to the soft tissues in your eye!
Some signs that conjunctivitis is present often include: eye discomfort, infection (usually starts in one eye and spreads to the other), redness, swelling of the eyelid, discharge, light sensitivity, teariness, pain, itchiness and tenderness. Most of the time, pain and blurry vision are not symptoms, but can tell you that something else is wrong.
There are several things you can do at home to treat pinkeye. None of these require a doctor but I still recommend you see one. Put a drop or two of honey into your eyewash. Honey is great at fighting off bacteria and will make your eyes feel much better.
If you are dealing with itchiness then do not rub your eye, but use cooled teabags as a compress instead. Chamomile teabags are even better because it has been proven as a natural eye tonic. Try grating a fresh potato and holding a slice of it against your eye for 15 minutes. This will help to reduce the swelling. Instead of using water for your eyewash, try warm milk.
Preventing pinkeye is also easy to do at home. If someone in your family has it, or cold sores, then do not share anything with them. This even goes for towels, washcloths and pillows. When you are outside make sure you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Make sure that all bedding and towels are washed often.
If you have already experienced pinkeye, then throw away all of your eye makeup. This will lessen the risk you are re-infected. Make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly before even getting them close to your eyes. Actually, try to never touch your eyes if at all possible.
If your pinkeye occurs alongside a cold sore then get to the doctor as soon as possible. This type of pinkeye is much riskier than other types.