Toronto Centre Optometry
#103, 180 Dundas St W Toronto ON M5G 1Z8 (416) 597-3937
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Toronto, ON / (416) 597-3937

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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Diagnosing & Treating Conjunctivitis

You may not have heard of conjunctivitis, but you have most likely heard of pink eye or red eye. These colourful nicknames are attached to an eye condition medically known as conjunctivitis.

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis refers to any inflammation of the conjunctiva; the membrane covering the eyeball and interior of the eyelid. This inflammation could be caused by a variety of things, and as a result, varies quite a bit from case to case.

Although each type has similar symptoms, the treatments vary significantly. You should always have conjunctivitis diagnosed so you can ensure you receive the correct treatment.

Types of Conjunctivitis

Allergic reactions occur when your body’s immune system mistakes harmless stimuli for dangerous ones. The body goes into defence mode in an attempt to prevent you from falling ill. Allergic conjunctivitis is a specific type of allergic reaction, causing the eyes to become red, itchy, watery, and swollen in an attempt to keep infection out.

Allergic conjunctivitis is commonly caused by pet dander, pollen, and dust. It is not contagious and should clear up once you are no longer exposed to the responsible allergens.

Treatment

The best way to avoid allergic conjunctivitis is to stay well away from your triggers. If this is not possible, you may find that antihistamines are helpful in managing and relieving your symptoms. There are also eye drops formulated for allergies which may help reduce redness and itching.

Viruses are responsible for many of the common illnesses we encounter in our lifetime; colds, the flu, and many more. Viruses are also the cause of viral conjunctivitis. The infection usually starts in one eye but can spread to the other.

This form of conjunctivitis creates red, itchy eyes which can swell up and cause excess tears or discharge. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious, so it is important that you avoid public spaces once you have been diagnosed. Be sure to wash your sheets and towels regularly to avoid reinfecting yourself.

Treatment

Unfortunately, viral conjunctivitis must usually be left to run its course. Your body will fight off the infection on its own. Despite this, you must still get an official diagnosis from your doctor. Only they will be able to confirm that this is viral conjunctivitis, rather than a different, potentially more dangerous infection.

The body needs bacteria to function properly. However, when bad bacteria is introduced, it can cause significant problems and irritations. This is what causes bacterial conjunctivitis. Your hands can carry bacteria, transferring them to your eyes when you touch them. It can also be caused by a sinus infection that has gotten out of control.

In addition to the standard swollen, red, itchy eye, bacterial conjunctivitis also creates a thick white, yellow, or greenish discharge. The discharge can be so thick and sticky that patients sometimes wake up to find their eye has been sealed shut. This can be remedied with gentle application of warm water.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is extremely contagious, so you must avoid public places as much as possible once you have received an official diagnosis.

Treatment

Bacterial conjunctivitis requires antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe the necessary medication. Based on that, they will also tell you when the contagious period ends and when you can return to public areas.

Visit Our Downtown Toronto Office

We are located on Dundas Street West, in the Java Joe's Building.

downtown toronto

Address

#103, 180 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8

Contact Information

Phone +1 (416) 597-3937 (EYES)
Email tcoptometry@gmail.com
Fax +1 (416) 597-3967

Hours:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
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10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 2.00 pm
Monthly by appointment
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