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How to Prevent the Spread of Pink Eye

If you or your child has pink eye it is important to limit the potential transmission of it to the rest of your family. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a prevalent eye infection in the United States, with an estimated 6 million cases occurring annually. While children under the age of 5 are most at risk for pink eye, this condition can affect people of all ages and is not limited to any particular group.

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What is pink eye?

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a common and highly contagious eye condition that occurs when the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids, becomes inflamed. It is important to see our eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of pink eye to prevent the spread of the infection to others.

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What should you do to prevent the spread of pink eye?

There are several steps you can take to prevent the spread of pink eye:

Wash your hands frequently

One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of pink eye is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is especially important after touching your eyes, blowing your nose, or coming into contact with someone who has pink eye.

Avoid sharing personal items

Do not share towels, pillowcases, or other personal items with someone who has pink eye. These items can harbor bacteria or viruses that can spread the infection.

Use disposable tissues

Use disposable tissues to blow your nose, and throw them away immediately after use. Avoid wiping your nose or eyes with your hands, as this can spread the infection.

Avoid touching your eyes

Try to resist the temptation to touch your eyes, as this can transfer bacteria or viruses from your hands to your eyes.

Stay home if you have pink eye

If you have pink eye, it is important to stay home from work or school until your symptoms have improved or you have seen an eye doctor who has given you more specific instructions. This will help prevent the spread of the infection to others.

If you are experiencing symptoms of pink eye, it is essential to see our eye doctor as soon as possible. Our team of experienced eye doctors are here to help diagnose and treat pink eye and other eye conditions.

Symptoms of pink eye

Symptoms of pink eye

The symptoms of pink eye may include:

  • Redness in the affected eye or eyes
  • Itching in the affected eye or eyes
  • Swelling of the affected eye or eyes
  • Discharge from the affected eye or eyes (can be clear, yellow, or green in color)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning sensation in the affected eye or eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Crusting of the eyelashes or eyelids
  • Swelling of the eyelids

Symptoms of pink eye may vary depending on the cause of the condition. For example, bacterial pink eye is usually characterized by a thick, yellow, or green discharge, while allergic pink eye is often accompanied by itchy, watery eyes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see our optometrists for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of pink eye

Symptoms of pink eye

It is important to note that pink eye can be caused by several different factors, including bacteria, viruses, allergies, and irritants. The cause of pink eye can impact the level of transmissibility, and therefore it is important to visit our optometrist to ensure you are not spreading it to others. 

  • Bacterial pink eye is usually characterized by a thick, yellow or green discharge from the affected eye and can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. 
  • Viral pink eye is often accompanied by cold or flu-like symptoms and typically clears up on its own within a week or two. 
  • Allergic pink eye is caused by an allergic reaction and is characterized by itchy, watery eyes. It can be treated with antihistamine eye drops or oral medications.
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