Pink Eye

 Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care - Adirondack
Pink Eye

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common—and treatable—eye conditions. If it is caused by a virus or bacteria, pink eye can easily spread from person to person. Pink eye is not contagious if it is caused by allergies or irritation.

young woman dabbing eye with conjunctivitisThe most common conjunctivitis symptoms include:

  • Pink or red eyes.
  • Itchy or burning eyes.
  • Watery eyes.
  • White, yellow, or green fluid coming from your eyes.
  • Crust along your eyelids or eyelashes.

When to seek medical care for pink eye

Call your healthcare provider or go to Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care – Wilton if:

  • You have a lot of eye pain
  • Your eye is very red.
  • A lot of mucus is coming from your eyes.
  • Your vision is blurry or you’re sensitive to light, and it doesn’t get better when you wipe away discharge from your eye.
  • Your symptoms don’t get better after a few days, or they get worse.
  • You have a health condition, like cancer or HIV, that weakens your immune system.
  • You have symptoms of pink eye and you wear contacts, or you recently scratched your eye.

Newborns who have symptoms of pink eye should be taken to the doctor right away.

How to keep pink eye from spreading

If you have pink eye: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • With clean hands, wash any discharge from around your eye several times. Use a clean, wet washcloth or fresh cotton ball every time. After removing the discharge, wash your hands again with soap and warm water.
  • Do not use the same eye drop dispenser or bottle for your infected and noninfected eyes.
  • Do not share personal items, such as pillows, washcloths, towels, eye drops, makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses, contact lens storage cases, or eyeglasses.
  • Wash pillowcases, sheets, washcloths, and towels often in hot water and detergent. Wash your hands after handling such items.
  • Stop wearing contact lenses until your eye doctor says it’s okay to start wearing them again. Clean, store, and replace contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor.
  • Do not swim in a shared pool.

If someone you know has pink eye:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share items used by an infected person. These include pillows, washcloths, towels, eye drops, makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses, contact lens storage cases, and eyeglasses.
  • Wash your hands after contact with an infected person or items they use—e.g. after applying eye drops or ointment to an infected person’s eye or after putting their bed linens in the washing machine.
     

Remember: For serious and life-threatening injuries or illnesses, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

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