Conjunctivitis Treatment in Rochester, NY

What is Pink Eye?child with pink eye.

The outer lining of the eyeball is called the conjunctiva. When this part of the eye becomes inflamed, it is known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. A healthy conjunctiva is white.  When the conjunctiva is inflamed, your child’s eyes can look pink or red.

Conjunctivitis can be due to allergies or can be contagious. The redness may appear in one or both eyes. If your child is showing signs of pink eye, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician for proper diagnosis and treatment. The board-certified pediatricians at Westside Pediatrics have extensive experience diagnosing and treating children throughout the Rochester area for pink eye. Call (585) 247-5400 to request an appointment at our pediatric clinic in Rochester today!

What are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)?

If you notice your child’s eyes are red or if they start to feel scratchy, your child may have conjunctivitis. Your child may wake up one morning with a crusty sensation around their eyelash.  Symptoms of pink eye can be the result of an infection, and they may feel sick or have other virus-like symptoms.

Some common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Discharge that can be watery, or thick and green
  • Burning eyes
  • Itching sensation
  • Irritation of eyes
  • Crusty eyelashes

If you have a young baby with discharge, it may be the result of a blocked tear duct and not conjunctivitis. Your pediatrician will help you know how to best diagnose and treat your infant.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

If your child has conjunctivitis, you may wonder what the underlying cause is. It is helpful to know conjunctivitis is caused by viruses, bacteria, or irritation. The eye may look similar to you no matter what is causing the conjunctivitis. The root cause will help determine which time of treatment your child needs.

Viral Conjunctivitis

  • The most common cause overall
  • Is more common in the adult population
  • Is more prevalent in summer
  • Very contagious
  • Often begins in one eye and then infects the other eye within a few days
  • Has to run its course

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

  • Responsible for the majority of cases in children
  • Observed more frequently from December through April
  • Can be spread easily, especially with certain bacteria and in certain settings
  • Children with conjunctivitis without fever or behavioral changes can usually continue going to school
  • Can be treated with antibiotics

Other Causes of Conjunctivitis

  • Allergies
  • Foreign bodies
  • Contact lens reaction
  • Chemical irritation
  • Inflammation inside the eye
  • Not contagious
  • May require eye drops

What is the Treatment for Conjunctivitis?

There are times when your child needs medical care and others when you can monitor symptoms on your own.

In most cases, conjunctivitis is usually viral. This means antibiotics won’t help and your child may need to let the virus run its course. This can take up to two or three weeks. However, some pediatricians will prescribe antibiotic eye drops if the suspected infection is bacterial. If the conjunctivitis is due to an allergy, your child’s pediatrician may prescribe eye drops to help control allergic reactions or inflammation.

In all cases, most providers will recommend the following treatment to help manage symptoms:

  • Cold or warm compress
  • Artificial tears
  • Cleaning eyelids with a clean, wet cloth
  • Avoid contact use or other irritants
  • Avoid or replace eye makeup

The majority of conjunctivitis patients are initially treated by primary care physicians. However, if your conjunctivitis is severe or if the outer lining of your eye is continually getting inflamed, you may need more advanced care.

When should My Child See a Pediatrician about Conjunctivitis?

You can often start with a pediatrician or family doctor f you have any eye-related signs or symptoms that worry you. However, if your child’s signs and symptoms persist or get worse despite treatment, your pediatrician may refer you to an eye doctor. An eye specialist is a great resource if you are worried about conjunctivitis and need peace of mind or another opinion.

Your child should see an eye specialist if they have conjunctivitis along with any of the following:

  • pain in the eye(s)
  • sensitivity to light
  • blurred vision
  • vision issues that do not improve when discharge is wiped away
  • intense redness
  • symptoms getting worse instead of improving
  • a weakened immune system such as cancer treatment, HIV infection or other medical conditions
  • newborns or very young children

Schedule an Appointment for Pink Eye Treatment

Westside Pediatrics is specially trained to care for the eye and any infections that may worry you. If you suspect your child may be experiencing pink eye symptoms, call (585) 247-5400 to request a sick child appointment with one of our exceptional pediatricians in Rochester, NY today! Our highly trained pediatricians are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to children throughout Rochester, Gates, Chili, Henrietta, and Scottsville.

(585) 247-5400