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Most commonly known as Pinkeye, Conjunctivitis is a very contagious eye infection, that spreads rapidly and most frequently among children ages 3-13. The leading causes of Pinkeye are a bacterial or viral infection that causes irritation or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the white part of the eyeball.
Severe allergies can lead to Allergic Conjunctivitis, which is not contagious and can be treated with antihistamines.
While you can’t guarantee there will never be exposed to the bacteria and viruses that cause conjunctivitis, there are things you can do to reduce the risks of you and your family getting Pinkeye.
The most important thing you can do is encourage hand washing often, especially after being in public places and using restrooms. Discourage children from rubbing their nose upwards towards their eyes, as this can introduce foreign materials into the eyes accidentally that can cause infection. You should change pillowcases, towels, and washcloths often to reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses lingering on these materials, and make sure children never share cosmetic or personal eye care items with others.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis should be treated by a medical professional and with proper medication (antibiotic eye drops), the Pinkeye usually clears away in a few days to weeks. Viral Conjunctivitis will clear away naturally, within a few days.
There are some clear symptoms of Pinkeye that you may notice in your children – such as redness or puffy/swollen eyes, frequent itching or rubbing, or sensitivity to light. You may experience discharge or crust building around the eyes if Conjunctivitis is present.
If you or your child are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article or suspect that Conjunctivitis might be present in your home, call Innovision Family Eyecare to schedule an eye exam at (281) 747-1232.