Eye Infections / Conjunctivitis – Pink Eye

What is conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Eye infections are generally caused by either a virus or bacteria. The most common type of eye infection doctors see today is bacterial conjunctivitis. Another common type is called blepharitis a chronic inflammation of the eyelid generally caused by infection. Styes are another very common eye infection which is an infection in the very small glands located along the edge of the eyelid.

The eye is a complex organ and in everyday life is constantly exposed to a variety of pathogens. Infections can occur and when they do, it is due to the fact that the normal eye defenses are compromised. The infection types are many, the infection could be from the eyelids themselves or from the sinus passages. Sometimes the source could be due to trauma to the eye, eye surgery, or simply from everyday contact lens use. Other causes could be directly related to immune deficiencies or diseases resulting from the growth of bacteria or viruses.

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, occurs when the conjunctiva covering the white part of the eye becomes inflamed or infected. Blood vessels within the eye dilate and fill with blood, causing redness. The eye feels irritated and in some cases, there may be a yellowish discharge that can cause the eyelids to stick together. Many cases of conjunctivitis are associated with allergies, but can also be caused by bacterial or viral infections. Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis can be very contagious, so avoid touching your face so that the virus does not spread to the other eye, and do not share anything that you touch. If you usually wear contact lenses, you may need to take them out until your conjunctivitis clears up.  Dr. Roberts may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or ointment if there is a bacterial infection. It’s important to complete the course of antibiotics as instructed even if symptoms go away. If the conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, then Dr. Roberts may prescribe eyedrops to reduce inflammation or control the allergic reaction. Conjunctivitis rarely affects vision. Sometimes more serious conditions such as damage to the cornea or inflammation inside the eye cause the conjunctiva to become inflamed and pink. If you experience any change in vision, discharge, light sensitivity, or if the problem does not resolve within a few days, contact us.

Symptoms of Eye Infections

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Symptoms

  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Liquid discharge

Blephartis Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sandy, gritty sensation normally more prevalent upon awakening
  • Scaling & crusting along the eye lashes


  • Red raised bump
  • Tenderness

Tips to Avoid Eye Infections

Typically eye infections are spread when someone comes in direct contact with eye drainage which is infected with infectious bacteria or virus. Rubbing an infected eye transfers the drainage to your hands or fingers and when you touch an object with your contaminated hand, you transfer the infection to that object.

  • Wash hands before & after touching eyes
  • Don’t share towels or pillows
  • Don’t share contact lens solutions or containers
  • Don’t share eye makeup
  • Don’t share computer keyboards with someone with an active eye infection
  • Don’t share sunglasses or eyeglasses

Treatment of Eye Infections

It is very important that your doctor examine your eye condition and make a clear and accurate diagnosis before any treatment should be started.  When dealing with conjunctivitis commonly known as “Pink Eye” is one of the more common eye infections. The doctor may prescribe an anti-infective ointment or solution as a treatment. It is very important to realize this infection is very contagious and the treatment may require absence from school or work. Rubbing the eyes is discouraged as it aids to the spreading of the infection via the hands and fingers. Washing of hands is highly recommended throughout the day. Warm compresses on the eye can also help elevate symptoms.

The treatment for blepharitis is very similar to the treatment of conjunctivitis or pink eye. Applying warm compresses help remove the crust and eyelid debris this helps reduce the bacteria.

Stye infections are often treated by applying very warm compresses your doctor may also prescribe the application of antibiotic drops or cream for the stye. If you have frequent occurrences of styes the antibiotic ointment or drops may help prevent the recurrence.

Dr. Anthony O. Roberts treats clients with dry eyes, conjunctivitis / pink eye, and other eye infections. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.

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