At some point in your lifetime you or a family member will most likely suffer from an episode of pink eye.  While many people know medical term we use for pink eye is “conjunctivitis”, most people don’t realize there are several varieties of pink eye.  Knowing the true cause of your red eyes will save you money in purchasing the proper medication and speed up the healing time.

When your red eyes are caused by a bacterial infection, an antibiotic eye drop can be very useful. However, many cases of conjunctivitis, in fact most adult cases, are not caused by bacteria and using an antibiotic might prolong the condition and waste money on medication that would not help in this case.

Viral conjunctivitis, which is much more common in adults, does not respond to antibiotic treatment.  If your doctor prescribes antibiotic eye drops for your viral conjunctivitis, you will waste your money at the pharmacy on drops that do nothing to improve your condition.  Even worse, the doctor may have done you a disservice by not informing you that viral cases of conjunctivitis tend to be very contagious.

Its obvious that making the correct diagnosis is essential to prescribing effective and cost-efficient treatment. To make an accurate diagnosis your doctor needs the proper equipment, which in the case of conjunctivitis is a biomicroscope.  Unfortunately we see a lot of cases of patients with red eye who went to their general physician and not only is their eye still red after one week of antibiotic drops, but now their other eye has been infected too.

When your doctor uses a biomicroscope to examine your eyes, he or she can look for the subtle differences between the various causes of red eyes and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

If you are experiencing other symptoms such as pain or light sensitivity along with your red eye(s), this is a symptom of inflammation.  Your doctor needs to take special care in this case to carefully diagnose which part of the eye is inflamed so the most efficient treatment can be prescribed.

Whenever you have a problem with your eyes we strongly recommend you see your eye doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.  Considering conjunctivitis can be caused by virus, fungi, bacteria, allergy, chemicals and foreign matter, having experience and the proper instruments can make a significant difference in your recovery.

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