Friday, January 7, 2011

Pnk eye

I mentioned earlier this week how we had been passing around colds constantly. I also brought home pink eye. That is a contagious little sucker. Kai got it. A week later, Kai and Caitlin got it. A week later I got it and Lee started to get it. We decided that it was a good thing that they put so much in bottle. They know everyone is going to get it plus we probably wasted half the bottle trying to get eye drops in a 2 year old.

Why am I writing about pink eye? One because it so common among children, and two, because there is not always an organic alternative. The tricky thing is that pink eye can be viral (no medication needed) or bacterial (5-7 days of eye drops). There is a school of thought that even bacterial infections should be treated without medication if at all possible. This line of thinking irritates me, especially as a pharmacist ;) Now, I am not a pill pusher even though I am a pharmacist by trade. Since becoming more organic, I am even less of a pill pusher. However, not taking someone when there is a clear indication for it, sends me to the nearest soapbox.

One reason to treat pink eye as a bacterial infection is because it will clear up in less than 24 hours if treated appropriately. Two, children usually are not allowed back in their classroom without 24 hours of treatment. Three, if it is bacterial and not treated, it will continue to be contagious and extremely symptomatic. Four, the eye drops are absorbed topically, not systemically, so there are no untoward effects like killing gut flora.

This is one time when I would hand downs recommend the “non-crunchy” alternative. Every single one of us was better in hours after the eye drops. Most bacterial infections do not get better on their own, and many of them can result in very serious infections if untreated. Now if only we had devised the perfect system to instill eye drops in a 2 year olds eyes. Oh wait, it is called candy bribery.

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