Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, may not be as scary as other types of eye infections, but it can still be problematic and embarrassing. It is essential to know how long is pink eye contagious because you don’t want to make others sick if you are still infectious. A reddening of the eyelid characterizes this condition, swelling of the eyelids with severe itching and burning sensations, sty-like twin bumps and watery discharge from the infected eyes.
Viral or Bacterial
The pink eye includes both viral and bacterial infections. With viral pink eye, the whites of the eyes will have a yellowish tinge, and your eyelids will look red and puffy. Viral pink eye is spread by contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces. If a person touches a contaminated surface and then rubs their eyes without first washing their hands, he could become infected. Bacterial pink eye is usually transmitted from person to person by direct contact with other people. They carry the infection through airborne droplets that get into your mouth and nose by breathing, talking or sneezing.
Symptoms of Pinkeye
- Redness in the white of your eye or inner eyelid.
- An increased amount of tears.
- Burning sensation, itching, or irritation of one or both eyes.
- A stringy discharge from one or both eyes may form crusts during sleep.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurred vision.
- Swollen eyelids.
- Crusted eyelids upon awakening.
How Long Is Pinkeye Contagious?
The contagiousness of pink eye depends on the effectiveness of self-isolation measures taken by an affected person. Infectious conjunctivitis usually presents itself with a runny, reddened eye and discharge. Schools and daycare centers are often required by law to keep a child who experiences this condition at home until resolved. This is essential because this type of infection can spread quickly in institutions with close contact between children.
While the length and intensity of pink eye can vary, most cases last for about three to seven days. However, the contagious state at which you or your child needs to stay away from work or school can last for 14 days from their most recent case of pink eye. However, if there is any color in the white of their eyes or any dirt on their eyelids and lashes, then they should remain out of school or work until these symptoms have disappeared.
Treatment of how long is pink eye contagious
Treatment for severe pinkeye may include antibiotic eye drops or ointments, but for milder cases, there are home remedies that may help relieve symptoms and speed recovery. These include compresses made with warm water and a few drops of baby shampoo, which can help remove any crusting formed around the eyelashes and eyelids. Other options are artificial tears which can help lubricate dry eyes, and cool compresses, which can give relief from irritated burning eyes.
Antibiotic eye drops are the way to go if you have bacterial conjunctivitis. This type of pink eye will only respond to the medications. The infection caused by viruses does not respond to antibiotic eye drops. However, viral pink eye symptoms can be relieved with non-prescription lubricating eye drops that neutralize any inflammation or pain in the eyes. If allergies cause pink eye, then it is not contagious. But consulting a doctor near you will help you find out what kind of pink eye you have. Also, discuss the difference between allergic and bacterial pink eye and the best treatments for each with your doctor.
Exposure to Contagious Pinkeye
The contagiousness of pink eye can be challenging to ascertain because the duration of the disease is mainly dependent on its cause. For instance, the measles virus can cause rubeola and accompany pink eye symptoms that can be contagious for as long as two weeks or more. Certain adenoviruses in water sources, such as untreated swimming pool water, may also cause contagious pink eye.
The environment can harbor many infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted to your eyes. Items such as towels and makeup brushes may contain infectious agents, even after they appear clean. If you have had pink eye, you should discard mascara brushes, eyeliner applicators and other eye-makeup tools if you have not used them in over a month. Use clean makeup applicators to apply makeup that is closer to your eyes to minimize your risk. If you’re still having problems after 10 days of treatment, notify your doctor.
Prevention of how long is pink eye contagious
Pinkeye can be prevented by practicing good hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently, avoiding rubbing your eyes and disposing of tissues immediately after use. If you develop pinkeye, do not share eye drops, cosmetics, or contact lenses with others because this can spread infection.
Do not wear contact lenses if you have pinkeye. Clean your lenses carefully with a disinfecting solution at least twice before using them again. If you use disposables, throw them away and use a new pair. Remember to clean your lens case as well after each use.
Dust and other irritants can aggravate all types of conjunctivitis. Minimize allergy triggers by keeping doors and windows closed on days when pollen is heavy, showering instead of swimming or bathing in the pool, and preventing small children from playing with pets that are known to shed hair or dander.
Once an eye infection develops, it is best to treat the symptoms immediately. To do this, cool or warm packs or washcloths can be placed over the infected eyes, and acetaminophen can be taken if necessary. To clean your eye, you should use warm water and new gauze or cotton balls each time. You should also keep track of your symptoms, stay clean, visit your doctor if necessary and follow instructions carefully. Within a week, your eyes should feel much better.
Final Thoughts on How Long Is Pinkeye Contagious
In short, pink eye is contagious. The key to controlling the spread of pink eye is to keep the infected area clean. It’s essential to wash your hands after touching anything in the affected person’s eyes or general area. Pink eye can cause irritation and drowsiness, but most cases are not severe. Be sure to follow up with your doctor if your problem persists for more than a week.