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What is Pink Eye? The Real Answer Might Surprise You

person with pink eye

Are you seeing pink?

The Great Misconceptions About Pink Eye

Have you ever had pink eye? If so, you might have assumed it was from feces coming into contact with your eye (yuck). Or worse yet, people around you also might share this misconception. Well, this article is here to set the record straight. Yes, you can get this eye condition from bacteria found in feces, but this is not the only cause and is usually not the main reason why many develop pink eye. Read on to learn what exactly is pink eye!


Common Causes of Pink Eye (Red Eye)

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, occurs when the lining of the eye and the eyelid becomes irritated, causing redness and swelling. The term ‘pink eye’ itself may be misleading as the eye does not actually appear pink. Instead, the eye will appear bloodshot, irritated, and may even produce a discharge.

man with tissue

There are many reasons conjunctivitis might occur:

It is important to be aware that viral conjunctivitis can quickly spread to people around you if proper precautions are not taken. Frequent handwashing steps should be taken, and the infected person should refrain from sharing personal effects, like face cloths, which may come into contact with other people’s eyes.


Common Treatments for Red Eye In Victoria, BC

Viral pink eye generally clears on its own without medical intervention. Dr. Sharma recommends applying a cold, wet washcloth to the affected eye(s) several times a day for relief.

A bacterial red eye may be treated with antibiotic drops.

An allergic red eye can be treated with specific allergy medication. However, if allergies are the root cause of pink eye, allergy medication will still help to soothe the affected eye(s) instead of actually treating the eye condition.

Pink eye due to dry eyes can be treated with artificial tears. There is a wide assortment of drops available to patients suffering from dry eyes. An optometrist should really be consulted in order to obtain the most appropriate drop.

The type of red eye treatment depends on identifying the underlying cause. Anytime patients experience conjunctivitis, it is important they seek the professional opinion of a doctor of optometry so that proper treatment can be prescribed. This means if you think you might have pink eye the best thing to do is get your eye(s) examined.


Think you may have conjunctivitis? Book an appointment with Dr. Sharma by giving us a call or easily booking online!

We are Victoria, BC’s family eyecare centre.