Pink Eye Treatment with Our Katy & Houston Optometry Staff
At Eye Site—with clinics in Katy & Houston—our Texas optometry team wants you and your family to be aware of signs and symptoms of pink eye. While common among young school-aged children, pink eye (conjunctivitis) can affect people of all ages.
Understanding Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
The outer surface of your eyes and the inner surface of your eyelids are covered with a tissue called the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, occurs when this membrane becomes irritated and inflamed.
Causes of Pink Eye
- Bacteria: bacteria responsible for strep throat and staph infections are commonly the cause of bacterial pink eye infections as well. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be highly contagious.
- Viruses: viral conjunctivitis is also highly infectious. According to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association, viruses account for nearly 80% of all acute pink eye cases. While there is no treatment for viral pink eye and most cases usually go away on their own, our Houston and Katy optometrist team can offer effective symptom management techniques.
- Allergies: an allergic reaction to pet dander, pollen, dust, mold, and other common allergens can cause inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva.
- Environmental irritants: exposure to smoke, household cleaners, chlorine (in pools) and other chemicals may irritate the conjunctiva.
Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye
Symptoms of pink eye are fairly noticeable and can be quite uncomfortable:
- Red or pink eyes
- A feeling of sand or grittiness in the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Abnormal discharge
- Inability to wear contact lenses
Because eyes affected by conjunctivitis are usually very itchy and uncomfortable, there is a risk of corneal scratches, worsening infection in the eye, and spread of the underlying infection (if the pink eye is caused by bacteria or virus).
How our Optometrist Treats Pink Eye
First things first: our Katy or Houston optometrist needs to figure out what's causing your pink eye! We'll perform an eye exam, run lab tests, and assess your or your loved one's history. Based on a diagnosis, we can initiate the treatment as appropriate:
- Antibiotic ointments, eye drops, and/or oral medications (for bacterial conjunctivitis)
- Anti-histamine eye drops (for allergic conjunctivitis)
- Environmental and lifestyle modifications (e.g., hand hygiene, removal of irritants/allergens, cool/warm compresses)
Wondering If You're Struggling with Pink Eye Symptoms? Connect With Our Optometry Clinic in Katy & Houston TX
If you believe you or a loved one has pink eye, contact one of our optometry clinics soon so we can provide you with a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. For our Katy location, call (281) 644-2010, and for our Houston location call (713) 984-9144.