How do you get pink eyes? Is pink eye contagious? Get insights on how this condition is spread, how long it last and what to do after infection. You will also learn how it is contagious in dogs.
Is Pink Eye Contagious
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is the inflammation or infection of the thin membrane that covers the white part of the eyeball and the inner eye lids called conjunctiva. This condition is caused by viral or bacterial infection, allergic conditions, chemical splashes into the eye and other foreign objects that may get into the eye.
Conjunctivitis is highly contagious especially when it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This condition do not appear contagious during the incubation period. This is the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms.
The presence of clear watery discharge, yellow or green discharge from the affected eye is a clear indication that your condition may be caused by an infection. It may be accompanied with other symptoms of pink eye such as itching, redness, tearing and swelling of the eye lids. The affected eye may also shut in the morning after waking. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious during this stage.
This condition is not contagious when caused by allergic reactions or a chemical splash into the eye. To be sure that it is caused by an allergen, you need to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. There are various pink eye treatment that can be used to improve the symptoms.
When diagnosed with pink eye, you are required to stay away from your relative and friends until you recover from the condition. This infection is highly spread through direct body contacts with the secretion from the affected eyes. It is highly spread in schools and other environments where children come into close contact with each other according to WebMD.
Pink eye is spread in the following ways:
- Sharing of personal items such as handkerchiefs, towels, tissues and washcloth with an infected person. Such items may be harboring the bacteria that causes pink eye.
- Direct body contact with secretion from the eye especially when it is a viral or a bacterial infection.
- Pink eye is also contagious through air. Sneezing, coughing and touching others can easily spread the infection to un-infected person.
- Sharing of contact lenses or special effect contacts with infected person.
- From a mother who has an STI to her newborn baby during delivery. Doctors may prevent this from happening by giving the baby anti-bacterial ointments and eye drops.
- Poor hand washing methods.
Is Pink Eye Contagious After Treatment
There are various topical antibiotic ointments and eye drops that helps to prevent this condition from spreading only if it is caused by a bacterial infection. This treatments helps in alleviating the symptoms of pink eye within 1 to 2 days of use. Therefore, the infected person becomes no longer contagious.
Viral conjunctivitis has no treatment and therefore, you have to allow it to heal on its own. You are likely to remain contagious up to the time the symptoms disappears. The symptoms may start to improve from day 3 to 5. Since there is no medicines for a viral infection, you need to prevent yourself from spreading pink eye.
You may take a break from work, school and other duties until the symptoms improve. There are some home remedy treatments that are effective on how to get rid of pink eye that you may use to improve this condition. Application of warm compress on the outer parts of the eye lid can help to improve the symptoms.
Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious. This does not mean that you leave it untreated. Visit your optician for examination and treatment. Eye drops containing anti-histamine can help in alleviating the various symptoms such irritation, tearing and the swelling of the conjunctiva.
In summary, pink eye that results from other causes apart from the virus are less contagious after treatment. Since there is no medicines for a viral infection, this condition remains contagious until the symptom improves,
How Long Does Pink Eye Last
It is important to have knowledge on the duration it takes for this condition to clear up. It helps in guiding you for the type of treatments to use for the infection that is exceeding its recovery period. Conjunctivitis normally lasts a few days to some weeks depending with the cause as described below:
- Viral conjunctivitis
Since there is no medication for viral pink eye, this condition may last up to three weeks. You will start noticing its outbreak from day 4 to 7 of the infection. You will start by experiencing presence of a sticky clear secretion that may cause coating of the eye lids in the morning.
This condition may start with one eye and eventually spreads to the other eye after day 3 to 5. It may cause irritation, itching and swelling of the eye lid. You may also experience other respiratory problems such as common cold, sore throat, coughing and sneezing.
This conditions spreads highly during the symptom stage and this give an answer to the question, is pink eye contagious? Washing your hand well can help to minimize the infection to other people who are un-infected. Pink eye home remedies can also be employed to alleviate some of the symptoms and hence reducing how long it may last.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis
Bacterial pink eye may last between days 7 to 10. Bacterial pink eye symptoms normally start showing up within 24 to 48 hours of infection. Unlike to a viral infection, this condition can be controlled using oral antibiotics and eye drops in reducing the irritations, itching, tearing, swelling and discharge from the affected eye.
The symptoms begins to reduce immediately after using the antibiotics. If this condition becomes resistant to antibiotics or home remedy treatments, you are supposed to visit your doctor right away for treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis is supposed to start showing improvements from day 1 of treatment.
Take the medicines as directed by your doctor. Even if the eye may start showing improvements, ensure that you complete the dose as directed by your doctor. It helps in reducing chances of re-occurrence of this condition.
- Allergic conjunctivitis
Allergic pink eye is cause by various allergens in your environment. How long it lasts depend on the season and cause of the allergen. Some allergic pink eye may last within a day while other may take up to three weeks.
Various treatments can be used to determine how long does pink eye last in babies and adults. The use of eye drops that contain anti-histamine helps in reducing the tearing, irritation and the swelling of the conjunctiva. If this condition does not improve, you may be required to visit your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.
You may be given various medication that helps in preventing this condition from re-occurring. Unlike to bacterial and viral pink eye, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and in most cases, it usually affects both the eyes.
- Chemical conjunctivitis
Chemical splashes into the eye may last for a few days or weeks depending with the type of the chemical. Alkali chemicals are normally harsh than acidic, therefore alkaline chemical splash into the eye may take longer time to heal as compared to the acidic chemical splash.
Washing the eye with plenty of water can help to reduce the inflammations. If the symptoms persist, you may be required to visit your doctor for treatment.
How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious
This condition is contagious during the symptom stage when there is itching, irritation, tearing, swelling and discharge from the eyes. Such symptoms normally appears from 3 to 7 days of infection. The virus or the bacteria are present in the secretions and they can easily affect anybody who come into contact with the discharge according to eye doctor guide.
Viral and bacterial pink eye are highly contagious. The bacterial cause ceases to spread when the symptoms starts to improve from days 7 to 10 while the viral cause may take longer time between 2 to 3 weeks. Therefore how long contagious of this condition may also be determined by the cause.
To prevent the spread of this infection, there are various precautions you may take to reduce the risk of being infected. They include the following:
- Avoid sharing of handkerchiefs, towels and other personal items with an infected individual.
- Wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial places after visiting crowded places such as schools and other public functions.
- Avoid sharing of your color contact lenses.
- Do not touch your eyes after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
- Clean the surfaces such as bathrooms, faucet handles, counter tops and other shared items using antiseptic cleaners.
- Visit your doctor for treatment if you suffers from seasonal allergic reactions. You may be given medications that prevents its re-occurrences.
- Disinfect your hand after handing same items with a group of people.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on the use of contact lenses and its replacements.
- Wear protective goggles when swimming to prevent bacteria and other micro-organisms from infecting your eyes.
- Contact lenses can also trap bacteria while showering, it is advisable to remove them before taking shower.
How Contagious Is Pink Eye to Dogs
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection that can also affect you dog especially when it is caused by a bacterial or a viral infection. Many people will wonder how is pink eye contagious to dogs. You may spread this infection to your dog if you are not careful.
When you are suffering from this condition, it is advisable to isolate yourself from your dog. Though it may sound tough but it helps in preventing the spread of the infection to your dog. Washing your hand well before touching your pet can also help to minimize the spread of this infection.
Conjunctivitis in dogs may start with one and eventually spreads to the other eye. Symptoms of dog pink eye are similar to that of human being, they include the following:
- Swollen or puffy eye lids
- Stringy secretion from the eyes
- Sticking of the eye lids
- Pawing at the eye
When your dog experiences the above symptoms, it is best to visit the vet. He or she may diagnose your pet to determine the type of conjunctivitis that your pet may be suffering from. It can either be allergic, viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. Your dog will therefore be treated depending with the causes.
There is also possibility of dog pink eye contagious to human, therefore you need to be careful while handling your pet.
What to Do For Pink Eye
An eye is a delicate organ, you need to give it some seriousness whenever it gets an infection. There are various serious eye condition which may be mistaken for pink eye that may lead to blindness. Therefore it is important to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Your doctor may recommend the use of oral antibiotic ointments and eye drops in case of a bacterial conjunctivitis. Other home remedy treatments may also be used to improve the condition of your eye.