The arrival of another year means a return to school for Union City children. Along with a heavy load of books and homework, there are also increased risks for illnesses, such as pink eye. Also known as conjunctivitis, this swelling of the thin layer of tissue covering the inside of the eyelid is an itchy, painful experience. The common name of pink eye comes from the bright pink color that the eye whites can take on due to the swelling.
Up to three million cases of pink eye hit every year in the United States. Children and those who work with kids are more likely to get the illness which can lead to at least a few days out of school. More severe cases may even result in weeks of lost school time. Spring is time of year when conjunctivitis is more common, but this doesn’t mean that your child won’t get this highly contagious condition.
Catching the Signs of Pink Eye
It is relatively easy to spot pink eye on sight due to symptoms, including the swelling of the eye, pink or red eye whites, the feeling of something in the eye, and swollen or painful lymph node in front of the ear.
Most of the time, doctors do swab tests to determine if it is bacterial, viral or an allergy. Parents of children with the above symptoms or adults can head to their nearby Union City urgent care center for a diagnosis. These centers will see patients the same day, so no need to suffer while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Treatment of Conjunctivitis
Medical professionals at any walk in clinic in Union City will then prescribe a treatment tailored to the diagnosis. Bacterial infections are given an antibiotic eye drop. A viral infection can be treated with an anti-viral, or the doctor might suggest waiting for it to heal on its own. Allergic conjunctivitis is treated with antihistamines.
Sufferers can also use over-the-counter eye drops to treat the feeling of dry eye. Cold compresses help keep the swelling down. A mild pain reliever may help with any continued discomfort in the eye.
Prevention is Key
The best way for children to avoid catching pink eye is through regular hand washing. The illness can have viral, bacterial or allergic causes, but keeping the hands clean helps keep all of these potent factors from getting rubbed into the eye. Students should also avoid sharing make up and reusing old make up. Avoid reusing towels and tissues or old, dirty contact lenses. Change out the pillow case often too.
Most important of all, doctors recommend students afflicted with pink eye should stay home to avoid passing this on to others. Conjunctivitis can be fairly contagious. With proper treatment from Union City urgent care providers, like U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, and a little patience, this common childhood ailment can pass without complications.
Prevent the spread of ‘Pink Eye’, Tri-City Voice
Facts About Pink Eye, National Eye Institute