Why Pinkeye Should Be Diagnosed By An Optometrist

Posted on: 1 October 2015

Whether you're an adult that has just discovered you have pinkeye or if you have a child that has just come home from school with it, you shouldn't wait to make an appointment with an optometrist. Pinkeye is a condition that can stem from various sources, spreading rapidly from eye to eye and person to person, and it can also be an underlying symptom of something bigger. So if you discover pinkeye in the mirror or in someone you love, here's why you need to have it diagnosed by an optometrist as soon as possible.

The Sources Vary

Pinkeye can often clear up by itself after about a week, but because the source of pinkeye can vary from allergen to virus, it's always a good idea to have your case checked out. Pinkeye comes in the form of a pink or irritated mucous membrane, which can happen once or on a recurring basis. If the cause is bacterial or viral, the infection can spread like weeds though, whether it's between kids at school or a family at home. Though viral sources of pinkeye can't be treated, understanding the origin can help you to prevent the spreading of the virus, through staying home from work or school, not sharing linens, or increasing hand washing for both the sufferer and everyone in the immediate vicinity. If there's excessive draining or pain, bacterial pinkeye, which can be treated with antibiotics, may be to blame.

At the same time, allergic reactions, chemical exposure, abrasions, and foreign objects embedded around the membrane can cause symptoms that resemble pinkeye. Problems that arise from these sources should be diagnosed to remove the potential for further damage to the eye, if abrasion or embedding plays a part, as well as minimize exposure to the irritant in the future. If you've been exposed to a chemical that's causing the reaction, treatment is absolutely necessary to remove the chance of burns, scarring, and permanent damage to the eye.

The Issue Could Be More Serious

Though the most common forms of pinkeye arise from bacteria, viruses, or exposure to irritants, the problem may also stem from something more serious. Glaucoma, cat-scratch fever, herpes, and gonorrhea can cause symptoms of pinkeye that may mimic something more benign. If you have pinkeye and are experiencing other symptoms, you may need to be treated for a broader issue.

Children that have recurring pinkeye should always be seen by an optometrist, as recurring symptoms can cause vision problems during development that will continue throughout life. And if you wear contact lenses or have limited vision, having a professional like Baldwin Optical & Hearing Aid Co. diagnose and treat your case is especially important, as complications can become a threat to your vision without treatment.