A red or pink eye is one of the conditions of the eyes that can have a wide range of causes. An examination is needed to determine whether the cause is infectious, such as bacterial, viral, or fungal, or an inflammatory condition. The differentiation is vital as the course of treatment is very different. Bacterial and fungal infections are generally darker red and have a lot of white, stringy discharge present. While viral infections can develop similar characteristics as their bacterial and fungal counterparts, these infections are usually pink in color with a watery discharge. Viral infections are the pink eyes that children normally get at school due to their high level of contagiousness.
Inflammatory conditions can develop for a number of reasons including extended wearing of contact lenses, bumps around the eye, or for no apparent reason at all. Generally these conditions are treated with drops and clear up relatively quickly, however, the course of drops can take several weeks before the true cause is cleared up.
Another type of red eye is called a corneal ulcer. An ulcer is usually an inflammatory condition with an infectious cause, making it a difficult condition to treat. Ulcers are found at a much higher rate in patients who are wearing their contacts for longer amounts of time than suggested and not changing them according to their replacement schedule.
Whatever the cause of the red eye, our doctors are experienced and capable to treat it. Generally, a red eye can be seen and treatment started the same day, so don't suffer any longer than you have to and give us a call.