When caused by allergens such as dust or pollen, pink eye cannot be transmitted. However, the viral and bacterial forms are highly contagious. Use these tips to prevent passing the condition along to others.
Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
Itchiness may reflexively cause you to rub your eyes, but contact with the drainage resulting from pink eye is what causes it to spread.
Wash your hands frequently
Use plenty of soap and warm water. If they’re not available, use liberal applications of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum concentration of 60 percent.
Clean your eyes several times a day
Carefully wipe away the discharge with a clean washcloth, cotton ball or tissue. Make sure the washcloth is laundered before reuse.
Wash linens with hot water and detergent
Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases and other fabric items that may come into contact with your face.
Do not wear or share eye makeup
Applying makeup, even if it’s your own, can cause continual reinfection of your eyes. Dispose of all products and purchase new ones after the pink eye has cleared.
Stay out of swimming pools
The water can cause the infection to spread quickly, and the chlorine will further irritate your already sensitive eyes.
Do not wear contact lenses
Once the infection has passed, clean your contact lenses thoroughly before resuming use.
Keep children home from school
If you have kids who develop pink eye, they should stay home to avoid spreading it to their classmates. Most schools and day care facilities have a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after treatment begins before kids can return.
Our skilled eye doctors have extensive experience in effective treatment of pink eye and other conditions. Contact Valley Eyecare Center today to schedule an appointment.