What Parents in San Antonio Need to Know About Pink Eye
Sooner or later nearly every child has a round of pink eye. This common condition causes redness across the sclera, the "white" of the eyes, along with itchiness and a yellow mucus discharge that dries to a crust. When the condition affects the cornea, there can also be sensitivity to light. Our staff at Nevelow Eye Associates wants you to know how we can provide effective pink eye treatment.
In San Antonio, it's not unusual to see pink eye that is caused by allergies, especially in winter. Dust, juniper pollen, ash from fireplaces, and mites that accumulate in houses that are shut up in cold weather can all set off allergic reactions. If your kid is the only one the block that has pink eye, and friends and siblings are unaffected, the problem might be allergies. But sometimes the problem is an infection known as viral conjunctivitis.
This infectious conjunctivitis form of pinkeye can be caused by any of a number of viruses, some more serious than others:
- Adenovirus is the virus that also causes something very close to a common cold.
- Herpesvirus, usually herpes type 1, the kind of herpesvirus that causes cold sores, is almost universally present in children at some point in their lives. More children are infected with this milder form of herpesvirus than ever show symptoms.
- Varicella viruses like those that cause chickenpox can cause pink eye, as can the virus that causes measles. Pink eye is one of the symptoms of both chicken pox and measles.
Pink eye is extremely contagious. The contagious period starts three to seven days before the eyes turn "pink." Then the viruses are contagious as long as the eyes remain red. That's usually 10 days to two weeks.
Pink eye is spread through contact with secretions from the eyes. When children touch their eyes and then touch someone else, they can spread the virus. The pink eye virus can be spread by sharing towels. It can be spread with a sneeze. Large numbers of people can get the virus from swimming pools.
If there's anything good about pink eye, it's that it usually goes away on its own. However, sometimes the discharge from pink eye finds its way under the surface of the eye. This can cause glare. This problem may take several months to go away. And in a very few people, pink eye can cause permanent damage to the cornea or lead to a permanent problem with dry eye. Pink eye can cause astigmatism and it can become a chronic infection that flares up over and over again.
When Do You Need to See Your Doctor of Optometry in San Antonio about Pink Eye?
Our doctors need to see your child — or you — when the pink eye has gone away and flared up again. It's especially important to get chronic infections with pink eye viruses under control. But you also need to call Nevelow Eye Associates in San Antonio when the pink eye is followed by eye pain, dark redness or ulceration on the eye, blurry vision, loss of vision, or glare. Don't let the pink eye become a threat to good vision. You can schedule an appointment with our staff by calling 210-349-2437 today!