The treatment of "pink eye" depends on what is causing the inflammation of the eye.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This means a bacteria is causing the inflammation in your eye and typically this requires an antibiotic eye drop.
Allergic Conjunctivitis: This means an allergen is causing the inflammation in your eye. The best way to treat this conjunctivitis is to avoid the allergen. Sometimes ophthalmologist can use the various drops to help with condition, such as antihistamine/mast cell stabilizers or steroids.
Viral Conjunctivitis: This type of inflammation of the eye is caused by a virus. Just like the common cold, there is no cure for a virus. Typically this type of infection can last up to 2-4 weeks and can vary in severity depending on the type of virus that affected the eye. Typically artificial tears, cool compresses and anti-inflammatories are used by eye doctors to treat this condition. Since this infection is not caused by a bacteria, antibiotic eye drops will not help this condition.
Anyone with viral conjunctivitis is contagious and should take the following precautions to avoid the spread of the infection to others:
- Change your pillow cases frequently
- Avoid touching your eye with your hand- always best to touch with a clean tissue
- Avoid reusing towels
- Wash your hands often
- Replace your contact lens and cases
- Do not wear contact lens with an active infection
- Replace your eye cosmetics