Every single year, somewhere between three and six million people across America get pink eye. That makes it one of the most common eye infections. And because it’s so common, you’re probably wondering how to identify it at home and, if you do, how to handle it.
Some cases of pink eye need a doctor’s care, but others will heal on their own. If you’re concerned at all, don’t hesitate to come to see Dr. Bharat Gandhi and our team at Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston, Texas. In fact, we offer urgent care so you can get the medical attention your eyes need quickly and conveniently.
If you’ve noticed a change in your eye or the eye of one of your family members that doesn’t seem overly concerning right now, though, you should take two steps. First, determine if you think it’s pink eye. Secondly, decide if it’s an infection that needs medical care. Let’s walk through each step individually.
Before you can decide if you need to see a doctor about your pink eye, you need to determine if you have this condition at all. Pink eye — also called conjunctivitis — does turn your eye that telltale pink color. That’s because it inflames the membrane of your eye, called the conjunctiva.
A pink or red eye isn’t the only symptom of conjunctivitis, though. This condition also causes:
If the infection in your eye is caused by bacteria, it’s also common to wake up with crusty eyelashes from the discharge.
You might see these symptoms in only one eye or both eyes. Either way, if you notice these signs, it’s likely pink eye.
Some cases of pink eye go away on their own. Generally, the infection heals in a week or two if it’s viral or within a few days if it’s bacterial — even without treatment.
That said, pink eye caused by a viral or bacterial infection — which most cases are — is contagious. If you come into close contact with people at work or school, you might want to see a doctor to get treatment to clear up your infection more quickly.
You should also seek medical care for your eye if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Also, if you notice that your symptoms get worse over time, come see our team. We can tailor the right treatment for you based on what’s causing the inflammation in your conjunctiva.
For the eye care you need, you have options. You can call our office or book an appointment online, or simply walk into Medinet Family Care Clinic if you think you have pink eye.