Pink Eye Precaution and Care
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye infection most prevalent in children. However, it can affect anyone. Below are some tips to help keep you pink eye free!
First, we want to explain what pink eye is and what symptoms are to be expected. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. There are several types of conjunctivitis:
- Viral Conjunctivitis is caused by a virus and is very contagious. Typically, this will clear up on it’s own without treatment. Symptoms include watery, itchy eyes and sensitivity to light. It is often spread through coughing or sneezing.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis is also contagious, but is caused by bacterial growth.This is usually treated with antibiotic drops or ointments. This infection is accompanied by a greenish-yellow, sticky discharge from the eye. Sometimes it can cause crust in the corner of the eyes or cause the eyelids to be stuck together. This infection is spread by hands, or things that have come in contact with the infected eye.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis is caused by eye irritants such as dust, pollen, or dander and is often seasonal. This form of conjunctivitis is not contagious. The symptoms affect both eyes and include watery, burning, itchy eyes and sometimes are accompanied by a stuffy or runny nose. Allergy medications help prevent or shorten allergy flare ups.
So what can you do to prevent pink eye? Here are some tips!
- Always follow your doctor’s instructions when handling and caring for your contacts.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Wear goggles when swimming to protect against any bacteria that may be in the water.
- Avoid sharing towels, tissues, or wash cloths.
- Never share your contacts (prescription, colored, or special effect), or eye makeup with friends.
- Frequently clean bathroom and kitchen countertops, faucets, handles, phones, and doorknobs with antiseptic.
- Wash hands frequently, especially when spending time in public places like playgrounds and schools. If you are unable to wash with soap and water, carry antibacterial hand gel.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
- Avoid rubbing and touching your eyes.
Sometimes, even though you may take every precaution, you or your child may still get pink eye. It is important that you stay home to prevent the spread of infection. If your child has pink eye notify their teacher and daycare so they can properly disinfect any communal areas. Any time you have redness and irritation in your eye it is important that you contact your eye doctor so that you can properly treat and diagnose the problem. If left untreated, the infection has the possibility to cause damage to your vision and optical health.