How to get rid of pink eye

Pink Eye Symptoms

Pink eyePink eye can occur due to a variety of reasons, including a virus, bacteria, an irritant such as dirt or shampoo, or an allergy. While the condition is typically not dangerous, it can threaten the vision of a newborn if not treated immediately.

Symptoms usually include redness in the inner eyelid or the white portion of the eye, an excessive amount of tears, a thick, yellow discharge crusting over the eyelashes, or a green or white discharge. In some cases, it will result in an itching or burning sensation as well as blurred vision. You may also notice you are more sensitive to light than normal.

If you notice any of these symptoms, see a doctor. He or she will take a sample from your eyelid, and then a lab will analyze the results so the proper treatment can be provided.

Causes of Pinkeye

Moraxella bovis is the bacterium responsible for pinkeye and is found in the eyes of recovered and healthy cattle alike. But the bacteria alone doesn’t necessarily cause pinkeye. It seems that there needs to be some kind of added irritation. So flies moving from cow to cow, tall grasses rubbing their eyes, dust and foreign objects in the eye, and ultraviolet (UV) sunlight are all considered potential factors in pinkeye. This last makes breeds without eyelid pigment more susceptible. Calves, especially bull calves, are also more likely to catch pinkeye while adult cattle develop protective antibodies on their eyes’ surfaces.

According to Kevin Gould of Michigan State University Extension, how well an animal works through pinkeye can be influenced by things like “nutritional imbalances, such as deficiencies of protein, energy, vitamins (especially vitamin A if the forage is lower quality) and minerals (especially copper and selenium).” He adds that, “The presence of other organisms such as the infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus, mycoplasma, chlamydia and Branhemella ovis will increase the incidence and severity of disease.

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As For Treatment…

If you don’t go for no treatment at all, antibiotics are the most recommended treatment. Gould recommends tetracyclines at 4.5 cc per 100 pounds of bodyweight injected subcutaneously or in the thin membrane that covers the white of the eye (the bulbar conjuctiva). Sometimes a patch is added to keep the eye from being further irritated.

On another listserv I read a discussion of salt as a treatment. The writer said old timers told her to throw salt at the animals’ eyes. A respondent told her not to do that as it just makes the cows mad, and suggested, like Greg, to not treat it at all and the animals would get well.

What Is Blepharitis?

Ble­phar­i­tis is inflam­ma­tion of the eye­lid mar­gin. It’s com­mon and treat­able.

There are sev­er­al pos­si­ble caus­es of ble­phar­i­tis, includ­ing:

  • Bac­te­r­i­al eye­lid infec­tion
  • Mei­bo­mi­an gland dys­func­tion (MGD)
  • Dry eyes
  • Fun­gal eye­lid infec­tion
  • Par­a­sites (Demod­ex eye­lash mites)

Some eye doc­tors believe ble­phar­i­tis actu­al­ly is a pre­cur­sor of mei­bo­mi­an gland dys­func­tion and dry eyes, rather than being caused by these con­di­tions. (See “Ble­phar­i­tis And Dry Eyes” below.)

Ble­phar­i­tis also is fre­quent­ly asso­ci­at­ed with skin con­di­tions such as ocu­lar rosacea, seb­or­rhe­ic der­mati­tis and pso­ri­a­sis. Often, ble­phar­i­tis and pink eye occur at the same time.

The most com­mon symp­toms of ble­phar­i­tis are:

  • Burn­ing or sting­ing eyes
  • Crusty debris or dan­druff at the base of eye­lash­es
  • Irri­tat­ed, watery eyes
  • Itchy eye­lids (caus­ing eye rub­bing)
  • Grit­ti­ness or a for­eign body sen­sa­tion

Depend­ing on the sever­i­ty of ble­phar­i­tis, you may have some or all of these symp­toms, which may be inter­mit­tent or con­stant. In some cas­es, ble­phar­i­tis also caus­es loss of eye­lash­es (madaro­sis).

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Ble­phar­i­tis is a com­mon cause of con­tact lens dis­com­fort, forc­ing many peo­ple to give up wear­ing con­tacts.

Eyelid Hygiene Tips

Eye­lid hygiene is very help­ful to treat and con­trol ble­phar­i­tis, but only if per­formed prop­er­ly.

To begin, use a clean, warm com­press to melt any blocked residue in the oil-secret­ing mei­bo­mi­an glands in your eye­lids. Here’s how:

  • Wash your hands, then damp­en a clean wash­cloth with warm (near­ly hot) water.
  • Place the wash­cloth over your closed eye­lids for sev­er­al min­utes.
  • Then gen­tly rub your eye­lid mar­gin with the wash­cloth before open­ing your eyes. (Don’t press hard on your eye.)

Fol­low your eye doctor’s rec­om­men­da­tions on how often to use a warm com­press and how long to keep it in place. When you first begin treat­ment, you may be instruct­ed to do this sev­er­al times dai­ly, for about five min­utes each time. Lat­er on, you might only need to apply the com­press once dai­ly.

Clean­ing your eye­lids is the next essen­tial step. Your doc­tor will rec­om­mend what to use for the clean­ing agent. Options include warm water, dilut­ed baby sham­poo or an over-the-counter or pre­scrip­tion eye­lid cleanser.

To clean your eye­lids:

  • Wash your hands, then moist­en a clean wash­cloth, cot­ton swab or gauze pad with the clean­ing solu­tion.
  • Gen­tly wipe your eye­lash­es and lid mar­gin.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Repeat the process for your oth­er eye, using a dif­fer­ent wash­cloth, swab or pad.
  • Your eye doc­tor may have you clean your eye­lids sev­er­al times dai­ly to start, and then once dai­ly there­after.

It’s a good idea to min­i­mize use of eye make­up when you have ble­phar­i­tis, because mas­cara and oth­er make­up can inter­fere with eye­lid hygiene.

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If your doc­tor rec­om­mends an anti-dan­druff sham­poo for your scalp and eye­brows, make sure you keep the sham­poo out of your eyes to avoid irri­ta­tion.

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