Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gunk or No-gunk?

This information is easily obtainable online, but thought I'd post it here as a quick summary in case anyone needs it:

I woke up last Saturday morning with pink-eye in my left eye -- have no idea how I contracted it, of course. Eyeball was red and it felt like there was something in my eye, and it hurt to rub the eye. I knew what it was, but couldn't remember the details, so here's the summary of what I found:

There are two types: bacterial and viral. Bacterial is the kind of pink-eye that glues your eyelid shut overnight with the crusty junk and is pretty uncomfortable. Because it's bacterial, it requires an antibiotic and thus a trip to "the doctor" for a prescription.

The other kind (what I had) is viral -- no itching or crusty junk, just red and mildly uncomfortable. Because it's a virus, it pretty much just has to run its course. But all drugstores carry generic pink-eye drops that will help with the viral kind. Their purpose is not to kill the virus but to do "other stuff" that makes the pink-eye less uncomfortable. I picked up some of these drops early Saturday morning and used them 3-4 times a day on Saturday and Sunday. They definitely helped the discomfort (which was mild to begin with) -- they reduce the feeling of having something in your eye that you can't get out. By Monday mid-day I had pretty much forgotten about it (very little discomfort) -- used the drops a couple time anyway -- and by today things seem about 80 percent back to normal -- just a little pink left.

So -- the flow-chart model would say: If you have a pink eyeball and the crusty gunk around the eye it's probably bacterial and may require an antibiotic. Without the gunk and no itching or pain, it's more likely viral and will run its course. The OTC drops definitely seemed to help, though I don't know how or why.

Gunk or no-gunk -- that is the question.

(No, that's not my eye in the picture -- though that's about how my eye looked.)

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