Get a Handle On Your Pink Eye
If you've ever woken up to a pink, wet or gunky eye- congrats, you had a case of "pink eye." Pink eye is a non-specific, all-encompassing term for any acute eye redness. Usually, we use it to describe allergic, bacterial, or viral conjunctivitis.
In this article, we'll be going over simple ways to handle infectious pink eye to help prevent re-infection, spread of infection, and promote faster healing.
Avoid touching/rubbing your eyes, but if you must, wash your hands afterwards
As you can imagine, infectious conjunctivitis is contagious. The tearing and discharge that your eyes shed can easily spread the infection to your other eye or to those around you if you're not careful.
Dispose of contaminated contact lenses/cases/solutions. Discontinue contact lens wear until resolved
Discontinuing contact lens wear during an acute infection will help against re-infection. Anything that could have been contaminated, such as the tip of your contact lens solution or eye drop bottles, should be thrown out and replaced.
Discontinue make-up wear until resolved and throw away or disinfect makeup supplies
For those of us who wear makeup, your makeup or the supplies you use may have been the very cause of the pink eye. Regular cleaning, disinfection, and replacement of these items will help keep excess bacteria at bay. Did you know you should replace your mascara every three months?
Avoid touching the tip of any eye dropper to your eyes or eyelids
This is good practice for any use of eye drops, in general. But especially during an infectious episode. Touching the tip of dropper bottles to your eyes will re-contaminate your eyes with future use.
Wash and replace pillowcases, towels, and face towels. Avoid sharing any towels when you have pink eye
Self-explanatory but still needs saying. These items have close contact with your eyes and infectious discharge coming from them. Prevent re-infection and spread of infection with one simple act of throwing everything into the wash.
Seek an eye care provider if you experience any pain, light sensitivity or vision change
While some cases of pink eye are self-resolving, it's important to know when you need to see an eye doctor. Pain (especially strong), light sensitivity, or vision changes are not typical of your run-of-the-mill pink eye and suggest something more serious. If you're unsure, it's always recommended to have your eyes checked, especially if your symptoms worsen or aren't improving.