Is pink eye dangerous or damaging if left untreated?
- Posted on: Dec 15 2019
If you woke up this morning and have red, itchy eyes that crusted and painful, you may have conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as “pink eye,” is inflammation of the eye that causes pain and discomfort. This condition is extremely contagious and can easily pass between individuals in the same household. While the condition sounds scary, it is a simple condition that can be easily addressed with the use of prescription eye drops. However, there are various types of conjunctivitis, and one type left untreated can result in serious vision issues over time.
Types of conjunctivitis
There are three types of conjunctivitis:
- Viral – just like the common cold, some patients may contract viral conjunctivitis that needs to run its course and clear up on its own over several days. This type of conjunctivitis can improve without medical treatment.
- Bacterial – this form of conjunctivitis is a result of bacteria. This type requires medication to treat and can result in permanent vision damage if untreated.
- Allergic – some patients develop pink eye due to irritants in the air, including pet dander, dust, and pollen. This condition may flare up seasonally due to pollen or year-round due to allergens in the environment.
How is pink eye treated?
The treatment for conjunctivitis will vary depending on the variety. Viral conjunctivitis will go away on its own without medical treatment. However, patients uncomfortable from the condition can apply a cold, wet washcloth to the eye several times a day to relieve symptoms. Bacterial conjunctivitis can only be treated with antibiotic eye drops. These should be taken as prescribed for ten days to ensure the condition has been treated effectively. Any continued problems should be evaluated by a medical professional to avoid future damage to the eye from being untreated. Allergic conjunctivitis is often managed with allergy medications, and patients may use over-the-counter eye drops and artificial tears to relieve discomfort and itching associated with this condition.
Get a proper diagnosis today
Call Shammas Eye Medical Center today to book an appointment at any one of our three convenient locations in Southern California to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for conjunctivitis.
Posted in: Eye Health