Pink eye syndrome, also called conjunctivitis, is an infection of the protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and the inner part of the eyelids.
It is usually caused by bacteria, but can also be the result of viral infections or exposure to environmental irritants or allergens. It is extremely important for you to figure out the cause behind your pinkeye as the course of treatment is completely different for each underlying cause.
Is It Contagious
If the cause behind pinkeye is viral infection, then it is usually quite contagious. This kind of infection spreads from one person to the other in crowded places such as schools and offices. Whether you are suffering from this kind of pinkeye or not, it is advisable to visit your eye care professional as soon as possible. The quicker you figure out a way to treat your pinkeye, the faster you will be able to get rid of it.
Home Remedies For Pinkeye
Home remedies for pinkeye can help greatly in reducing the pain as well as in keeping the eye free from drainage. If you’re in the habit of wearing contact lenses, then make sure to remove them and use glasses till the symptoms of pinkeye have completely disappeared. Also, make sure to clean your contact lenses as well as the storage case thoroughly.
Warm or cold compresses can also be quite effective. If the pinkeye has been caused due to allergy, cool compress would make you feel a lot better. On the other hand, if the condition is caused due to an infection, a warm and moist compress will help in soothing the eyes as well as in reducing swelling and redness. However, keep in mind that the moist, warm compress can spread the infection to the other eye as well. So it is important to use a different compress for each eye.
While cleaning the eyes, make sure to wipe from the inside corner towards the outside. Always use a clean wiping surface to make sure that the drainage does not get rubbed inside the eye. If you’re using wipes or tissues, make sure that you put them immediately in the trash after using and not allow them to sit around.
Similarly, if you’re using a washcloth to clean your eye, put it in the laundry right away to avoid someone else picking it up or using it. Wash your hands thoroughly after wiping your eye to prevent spreading of infection.
How To Prevent Spreading Of Infection
Once your condition has been diagnosed as pinkeye, take the following steps to prevent its spreading from one person to the other.
Avoid going to school or to work till the pinkeye has been cured. If the pinkeye has been caused due to virus, one can usually return to school or work within three or five days, when the symptoms start improving. Medicines are generally not used for treating viral pinkeye, so make use of home treatment to feel more comfortable till the infection persists.
If the pinkeye has been caused due to bacteria, one can return to work or school after treating the infection for 24 hours with antibiotics. Prescription antibiotic medicines usually destroy the bacteria causing the infection.
Use medications exactly as directed by your eye care provider. Common medicines include eye ointments and eye drops.