Yes, friend, YOU could get pinkeye… because this irritating infection isn’t limited to toddlers in daycare.
OLDER folks are actually almost as likely to battle conjunctivitis as little kids!
Now, the latest research reveals the single most common treatment doesn’t work and might even make it worse!
The new study finds that some 60 percent of patients with pink peepers are given an antibiotic ointment to drop into the eye, and another 20 percent of them get antibiotic eye drops juiced with steroids.
But antibiotic drops are almost NEVER needed — and the ones with the steroids don’t work any better.
In some cases, they can actually lead to more eye-scratching irritation over the short term.
What’s truly crazy about this is you won’t have any clue that your doc muffed this one up!
Because you’ll eventually get better — entirely on your own — but you’ll THINK the meds did the trick. But in reality, you never needed them!
Sure, bacteria can lead to pink eye, and antibiotics can wipe out those germs. But that’s actually the LEAST common form of conjunctivitis!
Most cases are viral and/or caused by allergies, and antibiotics won’t make a drop of difference.
Unfortunately, the docs most likely to screw this one up are exactly the ones most people see for pinkeye: family docs.
They’re up to THREE TIMES more likely to prescribe antibiotic drops than an ophthalmologist… so, clearly, your eye doctor is the guy you want to see for this if it comes down to it.
So, how’d you end up with a “child’s” disease in the first place?
Well, you’ve probably noticed your eyes aren’t as moist as they used to be. They get drier and irritated more easily because as you get older, your tear ducts don’t work as well as they used to.
Those tears do more than keep your eyes moist. Some of them wipe out germs and fight infection. When they dry up, your risk of infection jumps.
Next thing you know, you’ve got a little pinkeye going on — and the only thing worse than the itching, watering, and burning are the terrified stares you’ll get out in public.
You’d think pinkeye was the Black Death!
While it feels crummy and looks worse, in most cases it’ll get better entirely on its own. For a little relief, try plain old “artificial tear” drops and a warm compress. Just be sure to wash it, as pink eye spreads easily, and a germy compress could cause the infection to jump from one eye to the other.
Of course, if you have a history of infections or a compromised immune system — or if it’s getting worse instead of better — then absolutely give your doc a chance to gawk at it.