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Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, is inflammation or infection of the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white portion of the eyeball. The inflamed blood vessels become more visible, making the eye appear pink or red. Conjunctivitis also causes itching, burning, and discharge. It is common among schoolchildren, and a frequent cause of absences. It usually resolves without treatment, but your eye doctor can provide options depending on the cause of your conjunctivitis case.
Pink eye can be caused by virus, bacteria, allergic reaction, or an open tear duct in a baby. While bothersome, conjunctivitis rarely affects a patient’s vision. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be contagious so it’s important to limit its spread, which typically occurs through hand-to-eye contact with contaminated fluids or surfaces. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes. If you have conjunctivitis, clean your contact lenses often and dispose of any eye makeup that may have become contaminated. Change your sheets and towels frequently as well.
Your Cizik Eye Clinic doctor will use patient history, symptoms, and an eye exam to diagnose conjunctivitis and determine whether it was caused by a virus, bacterium, or allergen. Sometimes, a lab test will be ordered to help confirm diagnosis for the type of infection.
Red, swollen eyes are the most common symptom of conjunctivitis. Other symptoms may vary depending on the root cause. Viral conjunctivitis, for example, is likely to be accompanied by a cold, and eye discharge tends to be watery. Bacterial conjunctivitis is more likely to be accompanied by an ear infection, and eye discharge tends to be thicker. Allergic conjunctivitis tends to occur seasonally and involve itchy eyes.
Conjunctivitis usually goes away on its own within two weeks, but if it lingers or you are uncomfortable, schedule a visit with you eye doctor. Once the type is determined, a treatment plan can be developed. Symptoms of conjunctivitis caused by allergies or chemical reactions may be treated with certain types of eyedrops. For conjunctivitis caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye drops can be prescribed. Your body will fight a viral infection on its own, but you may find relief from placing a cold, wet wash cloth on your eyes.
If conjunctivitis is making it difficult to see, causing light sensitivity, producing significant eye discharge, or accompanied by fever and pain, schedule an appointment at the Cizik Eye Clinic.
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.
People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.
Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.