Medical Terminology Made Simple: Pink Eye

Barry Lenson

Medical Terminology Made Simple: Pink Eye

Medical Terminology Made Simple: Pink Eye  As a service to students who are thinking of entering the medical and medical support professions, StraighterLine is running short posts on medical terms. Each post will define one medical problem or condition.

Today’s medical term is. . . Pink Eye

Pink eye, which is also called conjunctivitis, is a reddening of the white part of the eye. It is pretty common during the summer months, when people come into contact with chlorine in swimming pools and other irritants, such as blowing dust or sand.

But irritants don’t cause pink eye. They merely irritate the mucous layer that covers the eye, making it more likely that a viral or bacterial infection will occur.  To make it worse, pink eye is contagious. If someone in your family has it, there is a high likelihood that someone else will get it too. The best precautions are to wash hands frequently and avoid sharing towels and linens with sufferers.

There is no mistaking pink eye when it occurs. And if it does, visit an eye doctor immediately.  Eye drops are commonly prescribed to treat the problem, which can take several days to clear up, or even several weeks if the infection is stubborn.

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