Pink eye is a common viral infection that affects around 12 million people each year. It’s also one of the most common medical conditions that people are ignorant about. This is probably because the illness itself is pretty mild. However, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia, conjunctivitis, and sinusitis. So, in case you were wondering, yes, pink eye really does spread like a bad case of sniffles. But, how does it spread and what can you do to avoid getting it? Let’s take a look.
how does pink eye spread
Pink eye is most often spread from person to person by direct contact with an infected individual, but it can also be transmitted through indirect contact with contaminated objects.
What Is Pink Eye And How Does It Spread?
- Pink eye is a viral infection.
- It’s caused by the adenoviruses, which are a group of viruses that cause things like colds and the flu.
- The viruses enter your body through tiny openings called “sinuses” (hence, the term “sinusitis”).
- When you have pink eye, these viruses invade your body and multiply in your sinuses and conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the inside of your eyelids). This then causes inflammation and irritation to the mucous membranes of the sinus cavity and eyes.
- As a result of this inflammation, bacteria can get into your sinuses more easily and cause infection. This is how pink eye spreads from one person to another – through direct contact with infected mucous membranes or via airborne droplets (e.g., sneezing or coughing), which can accidentally land on another person’s face or eyes when they are nearby.
- If you have pink eye, it’s essential to avoid touching your eyes or face as much as possible. This is because the virus can remain active for up to 48 hours after a person is infected, and it can still spread even after the symptoms have gone away. If you touch your eyes or face while they are still infected, you may transfer the virus to other areas of your body such as your mouth and nose.
- The best way to avoid catching the pink eye is by avoiding direct contact with other people’s mucous membranes – especially those of their eyes and noses.
The Basics Of Pink Eye
- Pink eye is caused by a virus called rhinovirus.
- It’s most commonly spread by touching or breathing in the stuff that causes it.
- You can also get pink eye from touching or breathing in tiny droplets of infected mucus that have fallen on your skin or in your nose. This is usually the case when you’re sick and coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- When you get pink eye, it can take up to seven days before you start to show symptoms, which include a burning sensation around the eyes and inside the nose, swollen eyelids, and a feeling of pressure behind the eyes. Your eyes may also feel irritated and watery as well as irritated red skin around them. In severe cases, you may experience itching inside your nose and throat as well as running water from your ears (called otitis external). I left untreated, pink eye can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, and even more serious infections.
- Treatment for pink eye is usually a simple course of antibiotics. However, if you have severe symptoms or think you may have pink eye, please see your doctor so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Signs Of Pink Eye
- The most common symptom of pink eye is the appearance of a red and irritated eye. The infected area will look swollen and may be painful. As the infection spreads, the eyeball will appear more and more irritated.
- Another symptom of pink eye is a discharge from the infected eye. It may be clear or cloudy, and it may or may not be red.
- If you notice a small amount of clear pus in the infected area, you’re probably looking at the pink eye.
- If your child gets pink eye, they will likely complain of a sore and irritated eye. They will also likely have a runny nose, which often comes with it too.
- The most common cause of pink eye is a viral infection such as the common cold or conjunctivitis (pinkeye). But it can also be caused by allergies to dust mites, mold spores, pet hair, pollution, chemicals such as chlorine and chlorine dioxide (used in pools), and even food additives such as tartrazine (found in yellow food packaging).
The Consequences Of Lack Of Treatment
Pink Eye Is a Sign of an Infectious Infection.
Pink eye is caused by a virus called adenovirus. It’s a common cold and flu-type virus that can infect the eyes and enter the body through the nose, mouth, or throat. The general symptoms of pink eye include watery eyes, sore eyelids, itching, redness or pain in your eyes, sneezing, and coughing.
Pink Eye Can Spread to Other Parts of Your Body.
Pink eye is contagious even when it’s not open or running in your eyes. This means that it can spread to other parts of your body such as your hands and feet via contact with someone else who has pink eye or through close contact with surfaces that other people have touched (like carpets).
Pink Eye Is Contagious During Pregnancy.
It may not be known to most people but the pink eye can also spread during pregnancy. This makes sense because it’s the same virus that causes pink eye. This is why some pregnant women will get pink eye and others won’t.
Pink Eye Can Be a Serious Condition.
If left untreated, pink eye can cause more serious health problems such as conjunctivitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, and even blindness.
The Best Treatment for Pink Eye
- Get enough rest and avoid working at night. Pink eye is most commonly caused by lack of sleep, so make sure you get enough sleep is key.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol. These two factors can combine to cause pink eyes.
- Avoid contact with his or her eyes, including touching them directly or sneezing into them. This will help keep your eyes clean and free from bacteria.
If you have pink eye, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the untreated, pink eye can lead to vision problems, including blindness. If you don’t have pink eye, keep a close eye on your environment and take steps to avoid spreading the virus. There are a few things you can do to help prevent pink eye, including washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and avoiding close contact with animals.