Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is a common eye condition that causes inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface. Pink eye is typically not serious, and viral pink eye will run its course within seven to 10 days without requiring medical attention. However, pink eye can be contagious, so it’s important to exercise caution if you or someone you know has pink eye. In this post, Bay Area LASIK doctor Mark Mandel, M.D., discusses how to prevent pink eye.
Causes of Pink Eye
Pink eye can be caused by a virus, bacteria or allergens such as pollen or dust. Viral and bacterial pink eye are both contagious, and can result in redness of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids and itchy eyes. Anyone can get pink eye, but school-aged children are particularly at risk because of their close proximity to others in the classroom.
What to Do If You Have Pink Eye
If you have pink eye, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to determine what type of pink eye you have. If you have bacterial pink eye, you may need to be treated with antibiotics. You should also take steps to prevent spreading the infection to others, such as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoiding touching your eyes and washing your hands frequently. If your child has pink eye, keep them home until the contagious stage has passed, which typically takes three to five days.
Pink Eye Prevention Tips
There are several other precautions you should take to avoid getting pink eye:
- Don’t share personal items such as washcloths, hand towels or tissues.
- NEVER share contact lenses.
- If you wear contacts, follow your doctor’s instructions for proper lens care and replacement.
- Wear goggles while swimming.
- Take your contacts out before showering or swimming to avoid trapping bacteria in your eye.
- Don’t share eye makeup.
- If you have pink eye, don’t wear contacts or use eye makeup until the infection is gone.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
For personalized advice about pink eye and other eye conditions, schedule an appointment with an experienced eye doctor. Mark Mandel, M.D., has been helping patients keep their eyes healthy for over 30 years. Come see Dr. Mandel at one of our four convenient locations in the Bay Area. Schedule a consultation by calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.