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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for pink eye

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2853 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 21 May 2018 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Question: Suggest treatment for pink eye
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

Do you mean pink eye (conjunctivitis)? I am wondering if "autocorrect" changed what you wrote to "eyeliner".

Please let me know the following:
1. What other symptoms do you have? An upper respiratory tract infection perhaps?
2. Describe the symptoms you are having.
3. Do you have an autoimmune disorder or other ongoing health problems?
4. Does it itch or is it irritated?
5. Do you have allergies and having any allergic symptoms in general right now?
6. How long has this been going on?
7. Any new medications or products?

Infectious pink eye is usually caused by a viral infection and most often associated with an upper respiratory tract infection where there is also runny/stuffy nose, etc. The symptoms of this type of pink eye are a goopy discharge, and diffusely pink appearing eye. It often starts in one eye and then infects the other eye as well. It is quite contagious, as is the "cold" that it's associated with. Best treatment for this is to apply hot wet compresses as many times a day as possible - at least a minimum of 3x/dy. I usually recommend standing over the bathroom sink with a washcloth and keep resoaking the cloth under running water and applying to eyes until it starts to cool, then repeating. Heat increases circulation which helps the white blood cells come and clean up the infection. The increased temperature also makes it less hospitable for the germs to multiply if there is a bacterial component to this. Use separate towels, good hand washing so that you don't share this.

2. Autoimmune causes of conjunctivitis. Some immunological disorders can cause dry irritated eyes. I asked about new medications because some, such as Plaquinil, can too. Moistening drops and sometimes steroid eye drops can be used for this.

3. Allergic conjunctivitis - allergies can make eyes itchy and watery. There are antihistamine drops for this.

4. Chemical irritation - getting something in the eye can cause this but usually the eyelids will be inflamed too. Irrigation and avoidance of the substance, and getting the eyes checked, is treatment for this.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 23 hours later
I have no other health problems. I caught this from a visiting relative. How do I treat it. Do I need to see a doctor?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX

If it is something you caught from someone, then it is likely to be an infectious form of pink eye. These are almost always viral. They can get some bacterial involvement after a while, but in general people can recover from them without an antibiotic as most are viral infections. You may get some cold (upper respiratory tract) symptoms from it too as they usually go together.

As I noted above regarding infectious type of pink eye: The symptoms of this type of pink eye are a goopy discharge, and diffusely pink appearing eye. It often starts in one eye and then infects the other eye as well. It is quite contagious, as is the "cold" that it's associated with. Best treatment for this is to apply hot wet compresses as many times a day as possible - at least a minimum of 3x/dy. I usually recommend standing over the bathroom sink with a washcloth and keep resoaking the cloth under running water and applying to eyes until it starts to cool, then repeating. Heat increases circulation which helps the white blood cells come and clean up the infection. The increased temperature also makes it less hospitable for the germs to multiply if there is a bacterial component to this. Use separate towels, good hand washing so that you don't share this.

You don't necessarily need to see a doctor for this unless it doesn't resolve. It can take around a week, but sometimes if you get started with the hot compresses immediately it can nip it in the bud.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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