A  A  A   Print
Tips for Preventing, Coping With Pinkeye

Tips for Preventing, Coping With Pinkeye

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 inflammation.

"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 classroom.

"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 bacterial pinkeye:

  • 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 available.

  • 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 disposable contacts.

  • Avoid touching your eyes with your fingers -- this is how conjunctivitis is commonly transmitted from one eye to the other.

  • Avoid school or work until you have had at least 24 hours of treatment with antibiotics.

More information

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about pinkeye.

SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, Sept. 20, 2013

Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.