Conjunctivitis, also known as “Pink eye”, is a common occurrence in childhood. Although you may have heard that conjunctivitis needs to be treated, this is not always the case. There are three common types of conjunctivitis:
Eyes are itchy and red with watery discharge. Symptoms of seasonal allergies such as an itchy runny nose may also be present.
The white of the eye becomes red with a watery or thin stringy discharge. This type goes along with having a cold and will resolve on its own. Symptoms typically last 3-4 days.
Eyes are itchy with excessive thick green or yellow discharge that returns after wiping the eye. Often one eye is initially affected and then may spread to the other. Eyes can burn and often times it feels as though there is sand in the eye. Typically eyelashes are matted upon awakening and can be relieved by using a warm washcloth. Eyelids can also be swollen. This type is very contagious and spreads easily within close environments. It is important to use frequent hand washing and not share towels or washcloths.
Several over the counter preparations are available to help with itching and discharge. Naphcon A, Opcon A, Patanol, and Zaditor are examples of such eye drops. Dosing guidelines are on the package and should be followed.
Cold compresses can provide relief, as well any over the counter pain relievers. Symptoms will clear up on their own as the virus runs its course.
Call the office during regular office hours to speak to our Triage Nurse. The Nurse will discuss treatment options and care.
Call the office to schedule an appointment if:
- The child is less than two years of age and has cold symptoms with eye drainage.
- The eye has suffered any type of injury.
- The child is acting ill, fussy, and lethargic or has a fever.
- Discharge has been present for more than 4 days.