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Pink Eye Diagnosis

Pink Eye Diagnosis
What is pink eye?
Causes and Risk Factors

Pink eye can be very irritating.  But early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate the symptoms of pink eye quickly.  Your primary care doctor can diagnose conjunctivitis with a comprehensive eye exam. However, you might also be referred to an optometrist, or eye specialist, when you experience conjunctivitis to help diagnose the cause and the proper course of action.

Medical exams
Your doctor will first ask you for a medical history in order to learn more about the symptoms, when they began, and the presence of any general health or environmental conditions that may be contributing to the problem.  A more extensive physical examination may be required to search for other causes of conjunctivitis.  Testing, with special emphasis on evaluation of the conjunctiva and surrounding tissues, may include:

Laboratory tests - The doctor may take a sample of your eye discharge for analysis to determine what form of infection you have.

Visual exam - This includes an evaluation of the conjunctiva and external eye tissue using bright light and magnification. The doctor will use a microscope with a light attached, called a slit lamp microscope, that allows a close look at your eye under high magnification.  You doctor can also evaluate the inner structures of the eye to ensure that no other tissues are affected by the condition.  Visual acuity measurements can also be used to determine the extent to which vision may be affected.

Other tests - Additional testing may include taking cultures or smears of conjunctival tissue, particularly in cases of chronic conjunctivitis or when the condition is not responding to treatment.

Using the information obtained from these tests, your optometrist can determine if you have conjunctivitis and advise you on treatment options.  To learn more about treatment for pink eye and different types of conjunctivitis, read our Treating Conjunctivitis Section now.

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Tags: treatment options, conjunctivitis, treatment, discharge, alleviate, diagnosis, infection, symptoms, analysis, chronic, vision, action, acuity, ask the doctor, Eye Care, infection specialist, medical treatment, chronic health, vision health, health care
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