Ross' Blog

What is Pink Eye?

To start, there are a few different types of pink eye:

Pink eye related to bacterial eye infections can cause a lot of swelling and produce sticky green discharge, resulting in eyes that are often ‘glued’ shut in the morning. Bacterial eye infections are more commonly seen in contact lens wearers and can result from our skins own bacteria.

Pink eye related to viral infections is by far the most common cause, and is caused by the same virus that results in the common cold. Viral pink eye will usually result in a watery eye with little to no discharge, but may still be crusted shut in the morning. Viral pink eye is the most contagious of all pink eyes, which is why it hangs out in preschools, daycares and work environments.

Pink eye related to allergies is more common after coming in contact with allergens and is often associated with other physical symptoms like stuffy nose, itchy skin or swollen eyes. People often complain of itching and may want to rub their eyes.

Pink eye can also be related to some more serious eye conditions like scleritis, uveitis, or iritis. These eye conditions require more urgent care, and will generally not resolve on their own if left untreated.

Regardless of the cause of your pink eye, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis by your optometrist to ensure that the treatment matches the condition. Please don’t touch anyone until you see us, and we’ll let you know if you are contagious.

Please Note: Alberta Health Care now covers the cost of emergency eye care visits to your optometrists office – there is no charge to you as a patient. 


School Vision Screenings

School vision screenings are a critical component of our health care system and help to detect gross visual problems in children that may otherwise go undetected. School vision screenings however are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist. All children, 3 years of age or older, should receive a complete eye examination at least once a year.

An optometrist can examine your child to ensure that they have the adequate visual skills needed to succeed at school. With almost 80% of all learning being visual, it is critical that your child’s visual system be operating perfectly.

An eye examination by an optometrist is more then about 20/20 vision, it’s also about having proper visual skills. Some of these skills include colour vision, depth perception, focusing, eye teaming, and eye tracking.

Did you know?

  • Children are covered under Alberta Health Care for a comprehensive eye examination once a year. There is no cost to you as a parent to have your child’s eyes examined by an optometrist.
  • Children are also covered under Alberta Health Care for emergency eye exam appointments for things such as: pink eye, eye infections, allergies, injuries, etc. 

Dr. Ross McKenzie is a member of the Alberta Association of Optometrists and is proud to participate in the Eye See…Eye Learn program. A partnership between optometrists, private business and the Alberta Government with a focus on ensuring that every child receives an eye exam before starting kindergarten. To learn more about the Eye See…Eye Learn program please refer to the Alberta Association of Optometrists website.