family,  Health

Pink Eye Prevention and Treatment

Pink eye prevention is your first line of defence against this common irritating illness. If you have kids, or ever were a kid (LOL), you know that pink eye is a very real, very CONTAGIOUS threat to your home. That’s because children touch everything and then touch their faces all the time. It can be a painful affair that can spread like wildfire through the home if not careful. So let’s take a look at pink eye prevention and treatment.


What is Pink Eye

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the covering of the whites of the eye – the conjunctiva. It’s a transparent layer, but it still contains blood vessels, and if it gets infected, it can be extremely painful. Pink eye is top of mind for me because I had the worst case of pink eye (in both my eyes) just after New Year’s Day. My eyes were both red and extremely painful and one was crusted shut. This inflammation occurs from an infection in the covering and is caused in three different ways.

  • Viral Pink Eye – This is the one that can spread to everyone. It’s caused by a virus, and while it’s extremely contagious, it will often clear up on its own within a few days. (Often comes after a cold)
  • Bacterial Pink Eye – While not contagious, this type of pink eye should be addressed immediately, as lack of treatment could lead to serious eye damage.
  • Allergic Pink Eye – This one is more annoying than dangerous. It’s your basic eye redness and swelling due to allergies.

Pink Eye Prevention and Treatment

Pink eye prevention and treatment are key things to know if you have children or if you work in high risk environments like schools ore any place where you have to work with the public. Happily, pink eye  prevention is mostly common sense and most people do much of this already.

Pink Eye Prevention

  • Don’t share washcloths, hand towels, eye makeup, or tissues – anything you’d put on or near your eyes
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes
  • NEVER share coloured contacts (in fact, you shouldn’t wear them at all)
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently
  • Clean surfaces and shared phones frequently with antiseptic, antibacterial cleaner
  • Always wear goggles when swimming
  • Always practice excellent contact lens care
  • Throw out your eye makeup. If you are an adult you need to replace all of your eye makeup after pink eye
  • Remember that if your child has pink eye most schools will not let them attend school. It needs to be in check, i.e. treated, first. My daughter got this at least twice in the younger grades.[tweetthis]Pink eye can happen to kids or adults. Here’s what I learnt recently when I had pink eye. #health[/tweetthis]

Pink Eye Treatment

Pink eye prevention is the best solution, but you won’t win every battle against it. This recent winter bout was awful. I wore sunglasses for at least three days and missed waterslides and pools for a bit  on doctor’s advice. So when Pink Eye rears its ugly head, here’s what you should do.

  • Viral Pink Eye Treatment – This will usually run its course without any help. A cold wet washcloth applied to the eyes several times a day can help with the redness and swelling. Remember, DON’T let anyone else come into contact with that cloth!
  • Bacterial Pink Eye Treatment – Treatment for this type of pink eye is usually antibiotic eye drops or eye ointments. (This is what I had and I required drops on the first day of my recent cruise.)
  • Allergic Pink Eye Treatment – A cool, wet washcloth can help with inflammation and pain. You can also use over the counter antihistamines to help with symptoms. (especially helpful if it’s super itchy.)


Pink Eye Prevention and Treatment – Avoid the Red Eyed Monster

If you’ve had pink eye, you know just how important pink eye prevention and treatment is. Being on the receiving end of pink eye is no fun, but fortunately, there are ways to keep it at bay. The biggest thing to remember in pink eye prevention is to wash your hands and keep them away from your face.

This winter I had pink eye multiple times. I had to get eye drops twice, but am finally better.

Have you, or your kids, had pink eye?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Melissa

    Oh Pink Eye – how I hate you. This terrible illness ran through our house it it is just terrible. It makes my eyes hurt just thinking about it. Thanks so much for your detailed tips on pink eye prevention and treatment. I hope that it helps someone in pain.

  • Ayesha

    Thank you this post was very helpful. I have two boys and they get Pink eyes probably because we get too much sand storms where we live but prevention is always better than cure.

  • ALi Rost

    Oh boy .. it’s been forever since my kids were little and had pink eye. I remember it was absolutely awful. I’m so glad for posts like this. They will help others with treatment options and you’re right .. prevention is always the best cure!

  • danik

    I didn’t get pink eye that often when I was a child but I get that horrible thing called Conjuncitives (sticky eyes) and the amount of drops I use and the amount of time I spend in the bathroom time washing my eye with hot water. Not a pleasant experience

  • Valerie

    I was at the vet a few weeks ago and my vet had pink eye. It looked painful. I had it once at that was enough. I wash my hands constantly. I don’t want it again ever.

    • Paula

      YES it is painful. This winter was so bad for me. I kept getting it back and couldn’t seem to get rid of it. At one point both eyes had it and I was in so much pain. Never that bad before.

  • Ady @VGB

    I’ve had the Viral Pink eye before. It is so bad sometimes especially when I wear contacts and therefore need to wear my glasses instead. Luckily I rarely wear makeup so I’ve gotten lucky to only throw out a few makeup products.

  • Allison

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. I have been lucky and have never had pink eye (knock on wood) but this would serve as a great reference for if that day ever comes. I hear horror stories though.

  • Jenn

    Just had a co working come to work with what we thought was pink eye. Thankfully it turned out not to be. I don’t think my kids ever had, but we know people that have.