Conjunctivitis has a reputation for being an extremely contagious disease – did you know that there are 3 forms of the condition, of which two are quite contagious?
It’s important to get a professional consultation, since self-diagnosis can lead to a treatment regime which does more harm than good. Book an appointment today and benefit from one of our hour-long eye health exam as well as testing that is tailored to confirming the type and severity of your condition.
If you or your child exhibits serious, fast-onset symptoms, consider arranging an emergency eye appointment rather than starting a self-diagnosed treatment plan.
The membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the surface of your eye is called the conjunctiva. When this gets infected, or irritated, by an external stimulus (like a foreign bacteria or virus) it can become inflamed, red, itchy and even swollen. A full list of probable symptoms is as follows:
There are 3 types of conjunctivitis: bacterial, viral and allergic. The only form you can truly “avoid” is the allergic type, if you have known allergies (such as pollen) and can actively avoid spores. For the others, good personal hygiene will help, but there’s not much you can do when exposed to the pathogen involved.
Conjunctivitis is very common among schoolchildren, where outbreaks can spread around entire classrooms in a matter of days. If you hear news of an outbreak at school, it may be advisable to review proper handwashing techniques with your kids and monitor them closely for the signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis.
This is the least common but most easily controlled type of pink eye. If you suffer from seasonal allergies like hayfever, you are more at risk of developing allergic pink eye. It cannot be spread by touch, and symptoms may be alleviated by using antihistamines or other anti-allergy medications, and avoiding your trigger substance.
Carried by the same pathogens which can cause the cold and flu viruses, this is very contagious. The symptoms are not usually vision-threatening or mortal, but they can be extremely uncomfortable for up to several weeks.
This is the most common strain of the disease, and is also very contagious. Usually spread through hand-eye contact, by washing your hands regularly you improve your chances of avoiding infection.
Each form of red eye causes similar symptoms and can take several weeks to resolve. Mild to moderate discomfort can be alleviated by using warm compresses or lubricating eye drops, while severe cases may require medical intervention specific to your case.
If you are struggling with painful or very persistent symptoms, please get in touch so we can prescribe a treatment option to alleviate your discomfort.
You can find us on the corner of St Paul St and 3rd Ave. We are 3 blocks down 3rd Ave from Royal Inland Hospital, towards downtown. Our office is across the street from the Telus Store and Stuart Wood school yard (where the summer Farmer’s Market is on Saturdays).