What's Going Around?

Pink Eye

We are currently seeing children and adolescents with "pink eye." Also known as conjunctivitis, this condition can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. During seasons with a high pollen count, many cases of pink eye are allergic in nature as well. In allergic pink eye, the eyeball itself is usually not red, but the eyelids may be puffy and reddish-purple in color, and the main symptom may be itchiness. This can be treated with allergy drops if severe. Viral pink eye typically appears as red and watery eyes, and is accompanied by common viral cold or upper respiratory symptoms. This type of pink eye should resolve itself as the viral cold improves. Bacterial pink eye usually appears as red eyes with yellow or green discharge. Upon awakening, the eyes often are matted shut with dried discharge. This type of pink eye also may be associated with a viral cold, but the bacterial eye infection itself requires antibiotic eye drops to cure. Good handwashing is very important because both viral and bacterial pink eye infections are very contagious.

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