Back in the day, when you didn’t totally believe something somebody said, you would respond sarcastically, “My eye!” You weren’t actually referring to your eye, though.
But this post DOES refer to my eye. Specifically my right eye at the outset, but then my concern spread to both eyes.
You see, over the weekend I went to an urgent care center where a nurse-practitioner diagnosed me, in one glance, as having the dreaded condition known colloquially as “pinkeye.” It is more officially known as conjunctivitis, and it is very contagious.
It’s also miserable. Your eye itches. Other symptoms include feeling like something is in your eye, a burning pain, puffy eyelids, sensitivity to light, and discharge, which can range from watery to pus-like. Plus, the “whites” of your eye are now “pinks” or even “reds.”
I found a bunch of really disgusting photos of eyes infected with pinkeye on Google Images, but I’m going to spare you those. If you really want to see them, you can go look there yourself. 😛
There are three kinds of pinkeye: viral (the most common), bacterial, and allergic.
In my case, the nurse-practitioner diagnosed my pinkeye as bacterial and prescribed antibiotic eye drops. There’s a whole regimen that must be followed, of disinfecting surfaces you touch, changing sheets, pillowcases and towels daily and not sharing them with anyone else, and washing your hands about every three minutes.
Plus isolating yourself from others while you’re still contagious. The problem is that various authorities say different things about how long you’re contagious.
Monday I got concerned because after two days of using the antibiotic eye drops and applying warm compresses four times a day, my eyes still hadn’t improved. I called my ophthalmologist and asked for the first available appointment, which was yesterday, Tuesday.
Of course, as these things so often go, by Tuesday afternoon’s appointment, my eye symptoms had improved, although not entirely, and I was concerned about whether or not I was still contagious, so I kept the appointment.
Which was a good thing, because it turned out that I had blocked oil glands in my eyelids, not pinkeye at all! The blocked glands produced the same symptoms as those seen in pinkeye, but the condition is not at all contagious and does not require antibiotics.
Instead, the ophthalmologist squeezed the heck out of my eyelids to open up the glands and told me to keep applying hot compresses twice a day and artificial tears at least twice a day until I see him again in January. I don’t have to use the antibiotic eye drops anymore, and I can go among other humans with no fear of spreading my germs.
In fact, the ophthalmologist told me that I could even kiss babies, and in fact SHOULD kiss as many babies as possible. ❤
(All the above images are from Pixabay, which does not require attribution.)
“My eye,” indeed!