Health Care

Essential Tips to Prevent the Spread of Pink Eye

A Women Cleaning Her Eye with a Tissue.

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Pink eye can be highly contagious if you aren’t careful. Taking proactive measures to prevent its spread is essential to maintaining a healthy environment. Find out steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading pink eye so that you can protect yourself and those around you.

Understanding Pink Eye and its Contagious Nature

It’s important to determine what type of pink eye you have. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious and are easily transmitted through direct contact with eye secretions or contaminated surfaces. If you or someone you know has either of these types of pink eye, it’s best to avoid close contact until they’ve fully recovered.

A third type of pink eye also exists, resulting from allergic reactions to irritants such as pollen, dust or pet dander. Good news — allergic conjunctivitis, unlike the other types of pink eye, is not contagious! However, since the symptoms for each kind of conjunctivitis are so similar, it’s important to figure out whether or not you’re dealing with a contagious form of the illness.

Essential Tips for Preventing the Spread of Pink Eye

Here are four important tips to help avoid the spread of pink eye and protect yourself and others.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after touching your eyes, face or any potentially contaminated surfaces. If you currently have pink eye, it’s crucial to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, as this can greatly increase the risk of spreading the infection.

Use Disposable Items

When you have pink eye, it’s a great idea to use disposable tissues or wipes to clean and dry your eyes. Discard them immediately after use to prevent others from coming into contact with them. It’s also important to avoid sharing towels, washcloths or other personal items that may come into contact with your eyes, like sunglasses or sleep masks.

Properly Clean and Disinfect

Another way to prevent spreading pink eye is by regularly cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops, light switches, microwave and refrigerator handles and remote controls.

Avoid Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses with pink eye is not a good idea. Instead, switch to glasses until your infection clears to prevent further irritation or possible complications. Also, clean your glasses frequently to avoid spreading the infection — use a non-irritating disinfectant to clean them thoroughly.

Seeking Expert Care and Guidance

If you suspect you have pink eye or have been in contact with someone who has it, don’t stress — our expert health care providers are ready to help. Visit one of our urgent care locations if your illness persists or worsens, and you need guidance.

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