Preventing and Treating Conjunctivitis Eye Disease
If you or your child wakes up with a pink, goopy eye, then there is a good possibility that you are dealing with Conjunctivitis, also commonly known as pinkeye. This eye disease is very contagious and it is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, chemical irritation, allergens, air pollution, contact lens wear, fungi, or foreign bodies in the eye.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis are easy to identify. These are some of the common symptoms of conjunctivitis: red or pink color in the white area of the eye, swelling, increased production of tears, feeling like something is in the eye, burning, itching, irritation, discharge, or crusting.
Conjunctivitis can be easily passed from one person to another. But, there are certain things that can be done to prevent the spread of the disease. Good hygiene is essential to avoid passing bacterial or viral infections, and the best place to learn more about proper eye hygiene is by talking with an experienced optometrist in Chicago.
Always Wash Your Hands when Touching Your Eyes
It should be a regular habit to wash your hands throughout the day, but there are certain times when you need to take extra care to keep your hands clean. When the infected eye is touched and then it comes in contact with another person, it’s possible that the infection will be spread. If you need to touch your eye for any reason, then you should always wash your hands before and after touching the eye.
Before you touch the eye, hand washing will reduce the likelihood that germs or bacteria will enter the eye from the surface of the finger. At the same time, washing after touching your eye reduces the possibility that you will pass any potential infection to other people. For example, if the infected person touches their eye and then touches an object, it is possible for another person to pick up the infection by touching the object and their eye.
Cleaning the Infected Eyes
The infected eye needs to be cleaned several times a day. Start by washing your hands, then use a clean, damp, warm washcloth. Gently wipe away the discharge around the eye area. Clean the washcloth immediately with detergent and hot water. Then, thoroughly wash your hands with soap again after you are done.
Bedding, Towels, and Pillowcases
With a conjunctivitis infection, it is also important to clean pillowcases, bedding, sheets, towels and any other type of fabric. This cleaning should happen frequently, using hot water and detergent. It is essential to wash your hands immediately after touching these items.
Don’t Share with Others
Since conjunctivitis is highly contagious, it is important to avoid sharing certain household items. For example, don’t use the same hand towel as someone with the infection. Avoid wiping eyeglasses with the same cleaning rag.
Never share eye makeup, face makeup, eye drops, contact lenses, eyeglasses, makeup brushes, or anything else that might come in contact with the face or eyes.
Talk with an Eye Doctor about the Infection
If you suspect that you have pinkeye, then it is essential that you talk with an experienced eye doctor right away. The doctor can help you identify the problem and make recommendations for eye drops or medications that might be needed. Also, you should discontinue use of contact lenses until the infection has cleared up.
Are you interested in learning more about hygiene for your eyes? Call Village Eyecare so that you can talk with an optometrist in Chicago for more information.