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When Pink Eye Requires Urgent Care

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Reviewed by: Katie Sanne, FNP-C

From chicken pox to tonsillitis, illnesses that are normally associated with childhood are something we just don’t think about when we’re adults. But most ailments don’t discriminate based on age — and can strike at any time.

Pink eye is a miserable, itchy, annoying example.

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a common infection that causes eye irritation that turns your eyes — you guessed it! — pink. Symptoms also include a discharge that attaches to your lashes and severe itching. For the most part, pink eye can be handled at home. However, there are times when it becomes so severe, medical attention becomes necessary. Keep reading to learn more about pink eye and when it’s time to visit a BestMed Urgent Care Clinic

What Causes Pink Eye?

At our walk-in urgent care clinics, we see three main types of this uncomfortable affliction. The most common type of pink eye, viral conjunctivitis, is caused by the same virus that’s responsible for a sore throat and runny nose when you’re experiencing a cold. 

The next type of pink eye is bacterial conjunctivitis, which produces sticky pus in the eye in addition to the pink color. This type of pink eye is caused by the same bacterium that causes strep throat and it is highly contagious. Depending on the severity, bacterial pink eye may require medical care from an urgent care center.

Allergic conjunctivitis is the third type of pink eye. While it isn’t contagious, it can be incredibly uncomfortable. It occurs when your eyes experience an allergic reaction to a particular substance. Pollen, chlorine, cigarette smoke and a variety of other common allergens can cause this reaction. The main symptom is itchy eyes but for some, the allergy can be so severe that the eye can swell shut, requiring a visit to an urgent care clinic.

What Are the Symptoms of Pink Eye?

Pink eye symptoms vary based on the type of conjunctivitis you’re experiencing. For the most part, symptoms will include red, burning, watery or itchy eyes; puffy eyelids; pain; the feeling that you have an eyelash in your eye; hazy vision; and sensitivity to light, just to name a few.

When it’s Time to Visit BestMed Urgent Care Clinic

Pink eye typically heals on its own, but there are times when you may need urgent medical care. A visit to our walk-in urgent care center is a good idea if you’re experiencing severe pain, have severely impaired vision, have experienced symptoms that have lasted longer than a week, have flu-like symptoms that accompany your pink eye, recently scratched your eye prior to contracting pink eye, or have a compromised immune system. Our urgent care clinics including those in Wellington, CO or Laramie, WY are very experienced in treating the various types of pink eye that affect thousands of individuals every year. If you think you may have pink eye and the symptoms are becoming uncomfortable, it’s best to get in line online and at your closest BestMed Urgent Care Clinic. Pink eye can be a nuisance that can hinder your comfort and day-to-day activities. Don’t let this affliction put a kink in your plans. Visit our walk-in urgent care center today for quick and effective treatment!