How To Prevent Pink Eye: Steps To Avoid Getting It And Spreading

Preventive measures

Why should you learn how to prevent pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) from happening and spreading?

  1. To avoid having bloodshot eyes that attract stares and scare people away.
  2. To avoid having incredibly uncomfortable pain and gritty feeling in your eyes.
  3. Lastly to avoid becoming the cause of an conjunctivitis epidemic.

Pink eye is highly contagious and it spreads through contact with the infected eye’s secretions. Touching an infected eye leaves the secretions on your hand.

If you use this hand to touch your other eye, the other eye will get infected.

If you touch an object and someone touches it with his hands, the virus or bacteria can be spread.

It can also spread to you if you get the secretions from another infected person by touching their personal items.

For the first section, I will share on how to prevent pink eye from getting to you.

Then in the second section, I will share how to prevent pink eye from spreading if you or your closed one is infected with it.




How To Prevent Pink Eye

You can reduce your risks of getting conjunctivitis by following these steps.

  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes at all times even if you do not have conjunctivitis.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as washcloths, handkerchiefs, tissues and towels.
  • Don't use eye drops which are opened for a few days (especially the ones without preservatives). It doesn't matter if you keep it in the fridge. It can still breed bacteria.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. 
  • If soap and warm water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Wash your hand often
  • Bring a hand disinfectant with you or at least keep one at home and use it frequently.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially when in public places such as school and malls.
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces that you constantly come in contact with such as keyboards, tap handles, bathroom vanities, and shared phones with an appropriate antiseptic cleaner.
  • Viral conjunctivitis can spread through airborne. Therefore, it is a good practice to wear mask in crowded areas especially if you are infected.
  • Do not use store testers for eye makeup as they may have been used by other people with pink eye.
  • Do not share eye makeup.
  • Do not accumulate eye makeups as the longer they have been around, the easier for bacteria and germs to breed in them.
Avoid sharing makeup products
  • If you have seasonal allergies, check with your doctor to see what you can do to control them.
  • To avoid allergic conjunctivitis, flush your eyes with an eyewash if you’ve been around something to which you’re allergic.
  • Wear eye protection when in the wind, heat, or cold to prevent eye irritation.
  • Follow your eye doctor’s instruction for lens care and replacement if you are wear contacts
  • Consider using daily disposable contacts and don’t reuse them.
  • Do not share contact lens equipment, containers, or solutions.
  • Remove your contact lens before you get into water to avoid trapping bacteria between your eyes and the contact lens.
  • Wear safety glasses when working with chemicals.
  • Do not share eye medicine.
  • Keep windows and doors closed on days with high pollen counts if your child is prone to allergic conjunctivitis. Dust and vacuum frequently.


How To Prevent Pink Eye From Spreading

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can be easily spread from person to person which can cause epidemics.

You can greatly reduce the risk of spreading pink eye by following the steps below:

  • Avoid sharing personal items such towels, handkerchiefs or washcloths
Avoid sharing
  • Do not even reuse handkerchiefs or towels to wash your face during the period of the infection.
  • Wash your bed linens, pillowcases, and towels in hot water and detergent.
  • Wash your child's towels and other linens in hot water separate from the rest of the family's laundry.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing the infected eye. Infection can also enter the body through the nose and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth if you are coughing or squeezing. Better still, wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap.
  • Wash any discharge from your eyes several times a day using a fresh cotton ball or paper towel and discard them after usage. Don’t forget to wash your hands again.
Use fresh towel
  • Don't share cosmetic with anyone.
  • Do not use eye makeup until the infection is fully cured
  • Throw away your old makeup and buy new products, because you could reinfect yourself with the eye makeup products. 
  • Never wear another person's contact lenses.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until the infection is cured
  • Clean eyeglasses and cases that were used while infected.
  • Replace contact lens solutions that you used while your eyes were infected.
  • Throw away disposable contact lenses and cases that were used while your eyes were infected.
  • Clean extended wear lenses as directed.
  • Thoroughly clean your contacts before wearing them again.
  • Wash your hands after applying the eye drops or ointment to your eye or your child's eye.
Keep you hand clean first
  • Do not use eye drops that were used for an infected eye in a non-infected eye.
  • If your child has bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, keep your child home from school or daycare center until he or she is no longer contagious.
  • Disinfecting surfaces like countertops, sinks, and doorknobs 
  • Do not use swimming pools.
  • Do not share the water in the bathtub with an infected person.
  • Do not put a patch over your eye. It may cause the infection to  become worse.


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