You may have never heard of a condition called conjunctivitis. That's because it commonly goes by a much more simple name, which would be Pink Eye. This condition is often discovered when you wake up in the morning and find an eye stuck shut or it feels gritty. Conjunctivitis is far from pleasant to deal with and there are certain things you should avoid when you have it so that you can prevent reinfection or spread.
What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis affects the conjunctiva of the eye, which is the clear lining that goes over the white of your eye. Conjunctivitis symptoms typically include redness, swelling, watering eyes, itchiness or irritation, crusting of the eyelids, and more. It's generally not a serious condition, but it is highly contagious, especially if precautions are not taken. There can be several causes of pink eye, with there being both viral and bacterial versions of it. There are also allergic and irritant types as well. Viral is the most common, which is unfortunate because the bacterial version can be easily treated with antibiotic eye drops. In either case, it will generally go away on its own, but the eye drops can greatly speed up getting rid of the bacterial variant.
Do Not Share Personal Items
Ideally, you avoid spreading conjunctivitis to other individuals. One of the biggest factors here is to not share personal items with anyone. This includes items like pillow, towels, eye drops, makeup or makeup tools, glasses, or anything else that contacts your face. All it takes is a simple touch or wipe near another person’s eyes for them to catch conjunctivitis. Unfortunately, if you only have pink eye in one eye, it can be pretty easy to spread it to your other eye if you are not careful.
Reuse Facial or Vision Related Items (Without Cleaning)
This one is important to avoid infecting your other eye or getting reinfected later. When you have pink eye, it is critical that you practice good cleansing habits on your various facial and vision related items. If you wear glasses, you need to clean them regularly. If you wear contacts, you should ideally avoid wearing them while you have conjunctivitis. If you wear disposable contacts, then you should throw them away, along with their case. If you have extended wear contact lenses, then you need to clean them. Also make sure that you regularly wash your pillows and bedding.
Avoid Touching Your Face or Eyes
With how irritated your infected eye will be, it can be tempting to touch or rub it, but you need to avoid this at all costs. Every time you touch your eye, you are getting the germs on your hands, which can then transfer them elsewhere. In addition, rubbing or touching your eyes can make it much easier to spread conjunctivitis to your other eye.
When to See Your Doctor
As mentioned above, conjunctivitis will generally clear up on its own. Although, there are certain pink eye symptoms that warn of a serious case and mean you should contact your doctor. These include:
- A lot of yellow or green discharge
- Sensitivity to light
- Intense redness
- Blurred vision
- Symptoms not improving or getting worse
- Have other eye related conditions
- Fever, chills, or face pain
Need a Doctor To Help with Conjunctivitis?
If you are seeking a doctor to consult with about conjunctivitis treatment, then BASS Medical Group can help. We want to help you find a primary care physician that will provide you the best possible care. Give us a call today at 925-350-4044 or schedule an appointment online.