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What You Need to Know About Pink Eye

POSTED ON September 16, 2011

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More than 164 million school days are missed annually in US public schools due to the spread of infectious diseases, says the American Journal of Infection Control. You might be surprised to learn that three million of those cases are due to pink eye. Conjunctivitis, the formal term for pink eye, is the swelling of the conjunctiva — the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye. The three forms of conjunctivitis are viral, bacterial, and allergic. Bacterial ...

More than 164 million school days are missed annually in US public schools due to the spread of infectious diseases, says the American Journal of Infection Control.

You might be surprised to learn that three million of those cases are due to pink eye.

Conjunctivitis, the formal term for pink eye, is the swelling of the conjunctiva — the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye.

The three forms of conjunctivitis are viral, bacterial, and allergic. Bacterial is highly contagious and causes a red eye with a lot of pus. Viral is the most common type of conjunctivitis. It’s also contagious and is caused by the same virus as the common cold. Allergic is caused by the body’s reaction to an allergen and isn’t contagious.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the most common ways to catch pink eye are:

  • reusing handkerchiefs and towels when wiping your face and eyes
  • forgetting to wash hands often
  • frequently touching eyes
  • using old cosmetics, and/or sharing them with other people
  • not cleaning contact lenses properly.

Your Indiana eye doctor urges you to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis. Encourage your child to wash their hands often, avoid touching their eyes and use new tissues to wipe their face and eyes.

With just a few simple steps, you can prevent the spread of pink eye in your family!

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