Pink Eye Information

About 3 to 6 million people get pink eye each year in the United States. In adults viral causes are more common, while in children bacterial causes are more common. Typically people get better in one or two weeks. If there is visual loss, significant pain, sensitivity to light, signs of herpes, or a person is not improving after a week, further diagnosis and treatment may be required.

Is Pink Eye contagious?

Viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious and spread very easily. Since most pink eye is caused by viruses for which there is usually no medical treatment, preventing its spread is important. Poor hand-washing is the main cause of the spread of pink eye. Once you have it, it is very important to become clear of it.

How to prevent spreading Pink Eye:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. And wash up immediately if you’ve touched an affected person’s eyes, linens or clothes (for example, when caring for a child who has pink eye). If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • Do not use the same eye drop dispenser/bottle for infected and non-infected eyes—even for the same person.
  • Avoid sharing articles like towels, blankets, and pillowcases.
  • Clean your eyeglasses.
  • Clean, store, and replace your contact lenses as instructed by your eye health professional.
  • Do not share eye makeup, face makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses or containers, or eyeglasses.

There are also steps you can take to avoid re-infection once the infection goes away:

  • Dispose of any eye or face makeup or applicators you used while infected.
  • Dispose of contact lens solutions you used while infected.
  • Dispose of contact lenses and cases you used.
  • Clean your eyeglasses and cases thoroughly.

Want to learn more about Pink Eye?

AAVJust click here or the logo for All About’s (AAV) information about pink eye and other information relative to the condition. They provide a comprehensive, up-to-date consumer resource about all aspects of eye health and vision correction. AAV enlightens visitors about the many products, therapies and services that can enhance their vision, and their lives. Check them out!