When it comes to the pink eye, many people don’t realize just how quickly this annoying condition can spread to an entire family – usually within a few hours at the most. Once the eyes have begun to get scratchy, red, irritable and weepy, most people want to find out whether there is any form of OTC treatment for pink eye that is available. While there are some treatments available, most of them only treat the symptoms and cannot heal the condition.
A 99.9% Viral Infection
Although there are cases where the pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, most cases of it are in fact viral. This means that there are no forms of medication or antibiotic treatments that can be used to ‘cure’ it as such. However, there is OTC treatment for pink eye that is available, which can help soothe all of the symptoms associated with it. These are usually supplied in the form of eye drops that are decongestive and that have the ability to soothe the redness, irritation, and itching that are associated with this unpleasant condition. The most common ingredient to look for in these eye drops is naphazoline when purchasing ophthalmic eye treatment drops.
Some of the most common brands and options to look for can include Bausch & Lomb Opcon-A and Clear Eyes Redness Reliever Eye Drops. In rare cases where bacterial pink eye has been confirmed, the two most commonly used treatments will include Chloramphenicol and Fusidic acid. Both of these are normally supplied in the form of eye drops, and they should always be used according to the dosage instructions. Using it more often will not make the condition heal any quicker – in fact, it could even cause more irritation or even permanent damage to the eyes.
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How Does Pink Eye Spread?
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis as it is sometimes also referred to as is normally spread through the air or by physically touching someone who has it. If an infected person has touched on an object such as a book, utensil or any other physical object, and that object is then touched by another person who in turn rubs their eyes, they stand a 99.9% chance of contracting it within an hour or two at the most. In most instances, the first symptoms of red, swollen and itchy eyes will manifest themselves within the first 15 to 30 minutes at the most – yes, it can and does happen that quickly and easily!
When to See a Doctor
In most instances, a case of pink eye will simply need to run its course for three to four days – all that can be done is to administer soothing eye drops whenever they are needed. There are no products available that will help it heal faster or ‘go away’ as such. Along with staying home from school and/or work while infected, it is strongly recommended that affected persons stay out of strong sunlight because their eyes will be extremely sensitive during this time – and for a few days afterward as well. Sunglasses should be worn as well, and these will need to be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned once the pink eye has healed.
In cases where the condition seems to be lasting for longer than four days, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with a doctor, as it may be an indication that something else is wrong, or the patient may have a severely compromised immune system. There may even be instances where it could be an indication that there is something wrong with the eyes – in such case, an optometrist or ophthalmologist should be consulted as soon as possible.
Using Contact Lenses with Pink Eye
The next most commonly asked question by pink eye sufferers after finding out about a OTC treatment for pink eye is, “Can I wear my contact lenses while I am suffering from the pink eye?” Unfortunately, the wearing of contact lenses while suffering from this condition is not recommended, as they can cause severe irritation and discomfort. In some cases, they could even damage the surface of the eye if they are worn while it is inflamed. It is recommended that contact lenses be thoroughly sterilized before they are used again as well. Until the eyes are properly healed, it is a good idea to make use of spectacles to correct vision.
Anyone who is infected with pink eye should ensure that they wash their hands and disinfect all surfaces and items that they touch regularly, as this will help prevent it from spreading. It is also recommended that each person use their own towels and facial care products until such time as everyone in the house has managed to recover fully from this uncomfortable and unpleasant condition.