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Understanding conjunctivitis

Did you wake up with red, itchy eyes? Do you notice buildup of dried discharge in one or both eyes that can cause the lashes to mat? Is your eye watery and bothersome? If you are dealing with these symptoms, you might be diagnosed with a condition called conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye.”

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection that occurs in the eyes. It can be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, and is commonly diagnosed along with other upper respiratory symptoms such as a cold. Other times, it may occur on its own. This is because pink eye is highly contagious and can quickly make its rounds through daycares and schools where individuals are in close contact with one another.

How is conjunctivitis treated?

The type of conjunctivitis will determine the appropriate treatment. At Thom Eye and Laser Clinic, Dr. Steve Thom will evaluate the condition to determine if it is viral or bacterial. Viral conjunctivitis will often resolve on its own within several days and does not need further treatment, though eye drops may be recommended to keep the eyes moisturized and reduce the discomfort of itchy, dry eyes. Bacterial infections, on the other hand, can be treated with antibiotic eye drops. Patients use the drops as recommended to treat the infection and eliminate pink eye. Even if one eye has been diagnosed with pink eye, Dr. Steve Thom will often provide enough medication to use on both eyes to keep the condition from spreading between the two. Most patients will find relief in a few days, though the medication should be used as directed—even after symptoms have dissipated.

Do you believe you are dealing with conjunctivitis?

If you are struggling with red, itchy eyes and believe you might have pink eye, it is critical to get a proper diagnosis from an eye doctor and seek appropriate treatment. Dr. Steve Thom and his team of professionals located in Fargo, ND are here to help. Premier eye care is just a phone call away! Our practice is located at 2601 University Drive S, and can be reached by phone at (701) 235-5200.

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