Monday Myths ~ Is It Pink Eye?

Has your little one ever woken up with a crusty, runny, bloodshot eye? Perhaps you’ve even experienced the same thing as a grown-up. It’s terrible and really miserable for the one who has contracted it.

But, there are myths that surround pink eye.

Thinking that pink eye, which is known in the medical world as conjunctivitis, can be spread only from someone else who has it is just one of the many myths about the condition. A virus can affect each person differently, causing conjunctivitis in one person and a respiratory infection in another. So what exactly is pink eye then?

Conjunctivitis is defined like this: The lining of the eyelid gets inflamed which can be caused by anything that inflames the tissues – irritants, like chemicals or dust, getting into the eye, allergies or a bacterial infection. In the case of irritants or allergies, the discharge from the eye is usually clear and watery and comes from both eyes. With a bacterial infection, which is the most common cause of conjunctivitis, a sticky substance is often present, yellow or green discharge pours from the eye, the area is often crusty and generally only one eye is affected.

In older children, pink eye is often caused by allergies, while younger children usually get it from a viral infection, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It’s best to check with your child’s pediatrician before diagnosing the problem. Whether it’s conjunctivits or allergies, your child’s doctor can advise you on how to help suppress the symptoms properly.