Quiz: Do You Have Pink Eye or Dry Eye? Find Out Here

Don't keep rubbing your eyes! The redness you see in your eye can be a sign of pink eye infection. Take this quiz and find out the answer!

Pink eye feature min scaled

A pink eye infection can lead to serious symptoms, such as vision loss. Therefore, taking steps to control it is crucial to ensure it doesn’t impair your quality of life.

Likewise, an early diagnosis can help treat the condition effectively and prevent the infection from spreading.

Take our quiz to find out whether your symptoms are indicative of pink eye or if you’re suffering from another eye condition.

How Do You Get Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is defined as an eye infection characterized by inflammation and redness of the conjunctiva, which is the clear tissue that lines the outer layer of the eye and the inside surface of the eyelid.

Pink eye is caused by a virus or infection, and it can affect either one or both eyes. It occurs when the blood vessels in your membrane that coats your eyes become infected, red, and inflamed – making them more visible.

Here are some common causes of pink eye:

  • Virus or infection, including the common cold and COVID-19
  • Bacterial infections stemming from Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Irritating substances or chemicals that get into the eye from cleaning products or personal care items (shampoo, face wash, soap, etc.), including dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
  • Allergens
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, such as the herpes virus or bacterial gonorrhea or chlamydia
  • A blocked tear duct

Symptoms of Pink Eye

Pink eye symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Redness or pink color in the inner eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased eye watering
  • Thick yellow discharge that causes the eye to become crusty, especially after sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy or burning sensation in eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Gritty feeling in eyes

Is Pink Eye Contagious?

Pink eye in children is usually due to a virus or bacteria infection.

Pink eye that is caused by a virus or bacteria infection is contagious as long as symptoms are present and can be spread from person to person.

The infection can also be spread from one eye to the other. Pink eye that is caused by an allergy is not contagious.

Your doctor can determine the cause of the infection. Viruses are the primary cause of pink eye in adults while children may develop the condition due to a virus or bacteria infection.

What Do My Quiz Answers Mean?

Generally, a pink eye infection refers to irritated, red, or bloodshot eyes that are also accompanied by swelling, eye discharge and blurred vision.

In some cases, it may not really be an infection at all. Let’s find out what your answers indicate and the treatments available for your condition.

If you answered mostly “A”: You might have Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)  

Dry eye syndrome (DES) occurs when you don’t have sufficient natural tears to lubricate the eyes. It is common in women and people over the age of 65.

Treatments usually include over-the-counter artificial tear solutions and home remedies like lid massage and resting the eyes. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and more specifically, the Lingshu (灵枢) segment of the Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine notes:

“The eyes are infused and powered with the essence of all the vital viscera.

The essence of the bones, which are governed by the kidneys, gives rise to the pupil; and the essence of the sinews which are governed by the liver, gives rise to the iris.

The essence of blood, which is governed by the heart, gives rise to the blood vessels; while the essence of qi (vital energy), which is governed by the lungs, gives rise to the sclera.

Finally, the essence of the muscles, which are governed by the spleen, gives rise to the eyelids.” 

In short, the different eye components have direct connections to various organs. Therefore, it can indicate internal problems of organs or systems.

One study also shows that 6 out of 12 patients with DES report an improvement of symptoms after undergoing acupuncture treatment. 

If you answered mostly “B”: You may have a pink eye infection

Seek medical help to determine if you have a pink eye infection and how to treat it.

Red eye conditions can come from allergies or bacterial or viral pink eye. Fortunately, mild conditions usually resolve on their own.

It’s advisable to gently wash the eyelids with warm water to keep the eyes clean. Also, rest the eyes and place cool compresses over them to relieve any discomfort.

Additionally, you can get over-the-counter eye drops, or an eye doctor may prescribe antibiotics to ease the symptoms. 

In TCM, it’s the result of a flow-together of exogenous (external) wind and heat, or endogenous (internal) liver fire that is either endogenous or exogenous.

From this point of view, the consumption of specific herbal formulations and ingredients is beneficial for relieving the symptoms of a red eye infection. These include: 

  • chrysanthemum (ju hua, 菊花) 
  • dandelion (pu gong ying, 蒲公英) 
  • cassia seeds (jue ming zi, 决明子) 
  • cicada slough (chan tui, 蝉蜕) 
  • mint leaves (bo he ye, 薄荷叶) 
  • mulberry leaves (sang ye, 桑叶) 
  • pale butterfly bush flower (mi meng hua, 密蒙花) 
  • Prunella self-heal spike (xia ku cao, 夏枯草) 
  • shrub chaste tree fruit (man jing zi, 蔓荆子) 
  • Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian (黄连上清片)  
  • Xia Sang Ju granules (夏桑菊冲剂) 

You may also find relief by taking a vision supplement that contains carotene, Wolfberry polysaccharides, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin to reduce eye damage.

Caution: Take note that the herbs and formulas above are for generic cases of red eye infection. According to Senior TCM physician Brandon Yew from Real Health Medical Clinic in Singapore, “Some people might benefit, some might not, while others may even experience a worsening of their existing condition or give rise to new problems.”  

Always get a proper assessment from a TCM practitioner before consuming any herbal formulations. 

How To Reduce Pink Eye Infections with Acupressure 

The stimulation of several acupoints below can help relieve the symptoms of red eye infection:  

  • Fengchi (GB 20): In the depression between the origins of the Sternocleidomastoid and Trapezius muscles, at the junction of the occipital and nuchal regions 
  • Hegu (LI 4): On the dorsum of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones) 
  • Jingming (BL 1): On the face, in the depression superior to the inner canthus 
  • Taichong (LR 3): On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression proximal to the 1st metatarsal space 
  • Taiyang (EX-HN5): In the region of the temples, in the depression about one finger-breadth posterior to the midpoint between the lateral end of the eyebrow and the outer canthus 
  • Yifeng (SJ 17): It’s the posterior to the lobule of the ear in a depression between the mandible and the mastoid process. 

The best way to do this is to massage these points in a clockwise and anti-clockwise circulation motion. You can do this 20 times and repeat for at least 3 minutes per acupoint.

However, acupressure may only alleviate a mild red eye infection. For severe cases, you should seek professional help from both an ophthalmologist and a TCM practitioner. 

Apart from the suggestions above, you can also try tonics that contain marigold flower extractgoji berries (also known as wolfberries), algae astaxanthin and DHA to preserve the health of your eyes.

Determining if your symptoms point towards a red eye infection or dry eye syndrome will go a long way in treating either condition.

If your pink eyes don’t subside after more than a week, or if the condition is affecting your vision, consult a practitioner or ophthalmologist for a proper diagnosis.

References

    1. US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Traditional Chinese medicine Xiaosheng Powder for dry eye disease. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
    2. American Optometric Association. Dry eye – treatment. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
    3. Cleveland Clinic. 2018. Red Eye – Care and Treatment.[Accessed on 28 January 2022]
    4. Cleveland Clinic. 2020. Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis). [Accessed on 28 January 2022]

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