Tips for Preventing, Coping With Pinkeye09/28/13
SATURDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- With children back in
school, cases of a highly contagious infection called pinkeye
(conjunctivitis) are likely to rise, an expert says.
"This common medical condition is around all year. Since it can spread so easily it's more common when school is back is session and kids are in close contact and touching similar surfaces," Dr. Khalilah Babino, an urgent care physician at Loyola University Health System, said in a Loyola news release.
Pinkeye is a hassle for students, parents and teachers, the
release noted. The condition occurs when the conjunctiva -- a
membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and white
portions of the eye -- become red and swollen due to
"Contrary to popular belief pinkeye is not always due to a bacterial infection. It can also be caused by viruses, allergens and irritants. These types of conjunctivitis will typically resolve spontaneously without additional treatment," Babino said.
But she noted that bacterial conjunctivitis is extremely
contagious and can quickly spread through a household or
"Bacterial conjunctivitis can be the result of infection from one of several bacterial organisms. Transmission is from person to person contact, secretions from an affected person or infected surfaces. If you suspect you have this type of infection it's best to see your medical provider as soon as possible," Babino said.
She offered the following tips for preventing and dealing with
- Wash your hands frequently with warm soapy water for at least
15 to 20 seconds each time.
- Use alcohol sanitizer when water and soap are not
- Avoid eye make-up during an infection and throw out any used
eye make-up as it probably is contaminated.
- Take out contact lenses and wear glasses instead until the
infection is cleared.
- Thoroughly clean your contact lens case and throw out
- Avoid touching your eyes with your fingers -- this is how
conjunctivitis is commonly transmitted from one eye to the
- Avoid school or work until you have had at least 24 hours of
treatment with antibiotics.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about
Copyright © 2013
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.