Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva (the thin outer layer of the eye) and the eyelid’s inner surface. This causes the eye’s white part to turn pink.
In this article, we will learn more about the types of Conjunctivitis, signs and symptoms, causes, precautions, and How Long is Pink Eye Contagious.
Read on to find out!
Types of Pink Eye
There are three main types of Conjunctivitis, which are as follows –
● Allergic pink eye
● Viral pink eye, and
● Bacterial pink eye
Allergic Pink Eye
The pink eye condition known as allergic conjunctivitis occurs when a person is allergic to something in the environment, such as pollen, dust, grass, pool chlorine, mold, etc. it can cause itchiness and redness in the eye. Allergic conjunctivitis is a non-contagious type of pink eye.
Viral Pink Eye
It is the most prevalent and the most contagious type of conjunctivitis. Painful, watery, and red eyes are the most common symptoms. Infections that spread from the nose to the eyes can cause viral pink eye. It may take a few days to about two weeks for viral pink eye to go away.
Bacterial Pink Eye
It is another very contagious type of conjunctivitis which is caused by bacterial infections. Formation of sticky pus, inflamed and red eyes are among the most common symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis. Without treatment, it may continue up to ten days. However, with therapy, it should go away in a few days.
So basically, if you are wondering how Long Is Pink Eye Contagious is, it must be clear now that the answer is completely dependent on the particular type of pink eye someone is dealing with.
How Can You Tell If You Have Pink Eye – Symptoms?
Pink eye symptoms may include the following –
● Itchy eyes
● Eye irritation
● Puffy and teary eyes
● Gritty sensation
● Eye discharge
● Having light sensitivity
● Mucus, pus, or thick discharge from eyes
Until the symptoms have subsided, a person must refrain from attending schools, going to daycare centres or workplaces.
Causes of Pink Eye
Following reasons can cause conjunctivitis –
● Bacterial or viral infections
● Improper cleaning of contact lenses
● Using contact lenses that are ill-fitting or ornamental contacts poses a risk as well.
● Chemicals, dust, or pollen
Coming into direct contact with those infected must be prevented until their symptoms have gone away. Children are more vulnerable to bacterial or viral pink eye, both types being highly contagious. Immediate medical attention must be sought to determine the exact cause and give the appropriate treatment.
What Precautions Must be Taken to Reduce the Risk of Spreading
Adhere to the following precautions to avoid infecting others or reinfecting yourself –
● A fresh towel must be used for wiping eyes or face.
● Do not rub the eyes or touch them. If you happen to do so, clean your hands immediately.
● Avoid eye makeup or doing it around the eye area. Also, abstain from sharing makeup products.
● Remember to keep the contact lenses clean as per the instructions provided by your ophthalmologist.
● Hands must be washed properly more often.
● Avoid going out and meeting people while being infected.
How Can Conjunctivitis be Prevented
To prevent the infection, below mentioned tips can be really useful –
● Those who wear contact lenses must replace them regularly.
● When working with an allergen or when exposed to a dusty environment, wearing eye protection is recommended.
● Do not share eye makeup.
● Make it a practice to wash hands while wearing or removing contact lenses.
● Avoid coming in direct contact with infected people.
● Before heading to sleep, make sure your contact lenses are removed.
How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious
The duration of pink eye is determined by its type and how the infection is being treated. It may take a couple of days to a few weeks for the pink eye to go away. The viral pink eye normally goes away on its own in 7 days to 2 weeks. However, the bacterial type with mild symptoms must show improvement within 10 days. The use of antibiotics should start to clear the bacterial infection in 24 hours of being administered.
So basically, the question of how long is pink eye contagious has a simple answer – till the time symptoms including redness, teary eyes, and discharge are present.
Until the symptoms have subsided, one must prevent sharing clothes, towels, makeup, and stepping out or meeting other people.
Pink Eye Treatment
The symptoms may clear up on their own without the administration of any treatment. In the meanwhile, here are some things you may do to help ease your symptoms –
● Put eye drops to keep the eyes moisturized.
● To prevent swelling and reduce it, do cold or warm compresses.
● Use a clean, moist tissue or a towel to clean the eyes or wipe the discharge.
● Healthcare specialists may advise antiviral medications in case of viral pink eye or antibiotic treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis.
People must consult a doctor in the following circumstances –
● Your vision gets blurred or you are facing other vision-related problems.
● You have become a little extra sensitive to light.
● You have extremely red and painful eyes.
● If symptoms do not improve and keep getting worse.
Pink eye is a prevalent bacterial or viral infection that affects the eyes. It is usually a minor condition and will go away on its own. Antibiotics or antiviral medications may be required in more serious situations. And now that we know how long is pink eye contagious, one must take utmost care to avoid close contact with others to reduce the risk of spreading as viral and bacterial types of pink eye are highly infectious.
Maintaining good personal hygiene is crucial for the prevention of pink eye. Personal items such as towels, makeup products, and face cloths must also not be shared with others. Also, it’s good to wash the bedding in hot water to avoid a significant virus or bacterium load since viruses and bacteria’s are easily transmitted.