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.
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?