Chicago Cornea Consultants Logo

Conjunctivitis: What is Pink Eye and How Can I Avoid It?

Conjunctivitis, or “Pink Eye” as it is more commonly known, is a common eye problem that can be treated relatively easily and avoided using a few simple precautions.

Pink eye is something anyone can develop, but it is seen more prominently among younger age groups where children are less cautious about exposure to germs. Students in schools of all levels are at an increased risk because of the increased levels of exposure to germs from other students, this makes it hard for teachers to avoid as well.

What is “Pink Eye?”

Pink eye occurs when the clear covering on the white of the eye—this is called conjunctiva—becomes inflamed. Despite being transparent, the conjunctiva actually contains blood vessels that overlay the sclera of the eye. When something causes inflammation in the eye the blood vessels in the conjunctiva dilate causing your eyes to become red and “bloodshot.”

Conjunctivitis can have several causes (see below), but many eye doctors use the term “pink eye” to refer only to viral conjunctivitis, a highly contagious infection caused by a variety of viruses.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by a multitude of different things, but there are precautions you can put in place to reduce your risk of having to deal with this irritating eye affliction:

  • Avoid sharing items you wash your face with such as hand towels, washcloths, and tissues.
  • Remember to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and/or sneezing and then make sure to not rub or touch your eyes.
  • Never under any circumstances should you share your contact lenses with a friend.
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently, particularly if you are spending time at a public place where germs are more widespread.
  • Always keep some hand sanitizer handy and use it when you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Clean surfaces that regularly are exposed to a lot of bacteria such as bathroom vanities, sink handles, phones, and kitchen countertops with the proper antiseptic cleaner.
  • Be wary of your allergies. Pollen can cause your eyes to become very irritated and can bring on symptoms of conjunctivitis. Ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your allergy symptoms.
  • If you are a contact wearer it is important that you follow your eye doctor’s instructions to the letter in regards to lens care and placement. Make sure to use contact lens solution regularly for your re-usable lenses or consider switching to daily disposables.
  • Always wear goggles while swimming to protect your eyes from bacteria and other microorganisms that reside in the water, these have been known to cause conjunctivitis.
  • Before bathing yourself always be sure to remove your contact lenses so that bacteria doesn’t get trapped between your eyes and the contact lenses.

If you believe you might be developing a case of Pink Eye, make sure to call your Eye Doctor so that the proper treatment can be prescribed.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
Woman going for a run after LASIK
Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
Elderly couple relaxing after Cataract Surgery
Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
refractive lens
exchange/phakic iol's
Keratoconus describes a cornea that weakens as collagen fibers deteriorate, causing the cornea to adapt a cone-like shape. Keratoconus can cause blurred vision, light sensitivity, glares, and decreased night vision. In its early stages, keratoconus may be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Keratoconus is also one of the most common reasons for corneal transplant, and one of the most successful. Call any of our offices and ask to speak to the Vision Correction Surgical Coordinator, or use the contact form below.
Closeup of the Cornea
It's estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don't even know it. People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name "silent thief of sight." Anyone can be at risk, so it's important to have your vision regularly examined.
Elderly couple smiling after Glaucoma treatment
At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our doctors take great care in maintaining ocular health for our patients. However, a number of our patients voice concerns regarding soft lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other regions of the face. We have responded by introducing cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic through our Chicago practice.
Woman posing after BOTOX
Dry eye can result from a lack of sufficient production of your own natural tears, with an inability to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can cause mild to severe discomfort including itching, stinging and burning. Dry eyes are a common concern in Chicago, and the experienced team of corneal specialists at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ have the latest advancements in technology to treat dry eye.
older woman smiling
Dry Eye
Contact lenses are medical devices which interact directly with the ocular surface of the eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we provide exceptional care to ensure that you obtain the best possible vision with contact lenses that fit appropriately and maximize health benefits.
Mature Man Having an Eye Exam
(800) 8-CORNEA
Online Bill Pay Book Now Cataract Self-Test LASIK Self-Test