Spring Weather, Allergies and Eye Infections
Spring has sprung and the buds are ready to burst. For some individuals it means watery eyes and eye infections! It’s that time of the year, the time when the weather becomes warmer, you want to get outside and all the plants and trees start to bloom. As spring approaches learn how to help prevent watery eye symptoms and avoid eye infections.
Among eye infections associated with allergies, pink eye is one the most common. Pink eye or conjunctivitis is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. While this part of the eye is clear it contains small blood vessels. When an infection occurs these blood vessels dilate, giving the eye the red color. These infections are more frequently experienced by those who are in close proximity to others such as students, school workers, daycare workers and medical professionals. Did you know the bacteria that cause pink eye is the same bacteria that cause strep throat? Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are easily spread from person to person.
Bacterial and Viral Pink Eye are contagious and are spread by direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, usually through hand-to-eye contact. Not cleaning contact lenses properly can also lead to infection. We talk about decorative contacts a lot during the Halloween season. These types of contacts pose infection risks as well. Allergic pink eye is not contagious and is often associated with pollen, dust, or sometimes pet dander.
- Allergic: Allergy medications can often help to prevent or shorten the duration of the infection. It is a common practice to start the medication prior to allergy season or known flare-ups.
- Bacterial: An optometrist appointment is necessary and they will prescribe eye drops.
- Viral: This form of infection will run its course over several days. Using a cold wet compress will help relieve some of the symptoms. Do not share this compress as the viral form of conjunctivitis is the most contagious.As we approach spring and allergy season follow these tips to help prevent eye infections.
Stop the Spread
- Don’t share items such as washcloths, tissues, or towels.
- Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes after covering your mouth to cough or sneeze.
Never share contact lenses with anyone.
- Bacteria can live in makeup. This can cause pink eye which can lead to a dangerous infection of the cornea. Do not use eye makeup while your eyes are infected. Replace your makeup if you have an eye infection. And never share eye makeup with others.
- If you experience seasonal allergies, consult your doctor on how to minimize symptoms.
Wash hands frequently, especially in areas of high public traffic (schools, daycares, public places).
If you do experience an infection, don’t hesitate to contact the doctors at Bissell Eye Care to confirm if you will need medication to help combat the infection and prevent future eye damage.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.