Although many people have had it, there are few that truly know what causes pink eye. Most assume they picked it up from another person. While this is a possibility, pink eye can appear in other situations. Knowing what causes pink eye is very important. It can help a patient quickly identify the symptoms, which can vary from one situation to the next. The cause also determines what might be the best approach for curing the problem.
Viral Causes of Pink Eye
A virus can cause pink eye. This is a common occurrence and usually identifiable by a yellowish discharge. Viral pink eye is contagious, so the patient should be very careful when interacting with others. It is best to isolate the patient as much as possible until the condition passes, usually two to five days. A visit to the doctor will determine if antibiotics are necessary, which can reduce the heal time significantly. Not all cases of pink eye require a prescription, and your doctor can advise on the best approach for overcoming the problem.
Bacterial Causes of Pink Eye
Bacteria can also cause a pink eye infection. Bacteria and viral cases tend to share many of the same symptoms, including redness, itchy eyes, and a crusty or sticky discharge. Bacterial pink eye can be treated much the same way as well. Anyone with bacterial pink eye should be aware that it can be passed to others and should follow the same cautionary steps as those with viral pink eye.
Chemical Causes of Pink Eye
Many people do not think of chemical substances when they consider what causes pink eye. However the condition can be instigated by contact with chemicals. This is usually accidental, such as a chemical splashed on the face and making its way into the eye. Chemicals can also find their way into the eyes if they are rubbed in accidentally. Chemical pink eye is usually noticeable by pain that is felt when looking all the way down or all the way up. Proper precautions, such as eye wear, careful handling of chemicals, and sanitary practices can help prevent chemicals from entering the eyes.