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Pink Eye: Causes and Treatments

Do I need to visit an optometrist for an eye infection?

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis or eye infections, is one of the most common types of eye emergencies treated by our Ventura Optometrist. Pink eye is named because of the noticeable red color in the white of the eye. The Sclera of the eye becomes red due to inflammation caused by a bacterial infection, viral infection, or eye allergies.

While most eye infections will clear up on their own with time, it is highly recommended that you schedule an emergency eye exam with our Ventura, CA eye doctor in order to speed up recovery, reduce the chances of spreading the infection, and ruling out other potential causes that may be more serious.

girl rubbing pink eye

What are the symptoms of an eye infection? 

  • Noticeable redness to the white of the eye that does not go away
  • Puss or discharge in the corner of the eye, usually white or green with a sticky consistency, in many cases this discharge will appear dry or crusty
  • Excessive itchiness or watery eyes
  • Noticeable sensitivity to light
  • A burning sensation in the eye
  • Crusty or gritty feeling as if you have sand in your eye
  • Swollen or puffy eyelids
Red Cross

How are eye infections treated?

There are three common types of pink eye, each with a different treatment plan, bacterial eye infections, viral eye infections, pink eye caused by eye allergies.

  1. Bacterial eye infections commonly are accompanied by a green, yellow sticky puss or fluid that becomes crusty at the corner of the eye. Bacterial eye infections are treated with antibiotic drops or ointments in order to speed up the healing process and to reduce the spread of infection.
  2. Viral eye infections are not treated with antibiotics, however, it is recommended that you see our optometrist in order to rule out other causes of the infection and to ensure that there are no other symptoms that may need to be addressed. In some cases, our optometrist may prescribe steroid drops or antiviral medications.
  3. Pink eye caused by eye allergies is an extremely common form of pink eye. Our optometrist will asses your eye allergies and recommend a treatment plan that may include OTC allergy medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, antihistamines, or topical steroid eye drops.

As with all eye emergencies, there is not always one answer, and our optometrist always recommends that the patient’s eyes undergo an emergency eye exam in order to rule out other issues or complications. Our optometrist, Dr. Bajwa, has extensive experience treating eye infections for patients from Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Ojai.

How to prevent spreading an eye infection? 

Conjunctivitis is one of the most commonly spread eye conditions, as patients, especially children with an eye infection, will rub their eyes which is very conducive to spreading the infection.

Common tips to prevent spreading pink eye are:

  • Wash your hands often, especially after touching your eyes or administering drops or medication. Soap or hand sanitizer should always be used after coming in contact with an infected eye.
  • When possible avoid any contact directly with the eye.
  • Anything coming in contact with the infected eye, such as washcloths, wipes, and pillow covers, should be disposed of or laundered with hot water and detergent.
  • Contact lenses should not be worn during an eye infection, there may be some exceptions, talk to our optometrist for specific contact lens advise during an eye infection.
  • Makeup or other items that directly contact the infected eye should be disposed of.

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Buena Vista Optometry

1889 Knoll Dr
Ventura, CA 93003
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