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How Long Does Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis Last?
Conjunctivitis in babies or infants is caused by an allergic reaction or when their eyes come in contact with some pollen or dust, they become pink due to allergy.
Last month my younger kid got pink eye all of a sudden. It was the first time any of my sons was suffering from pink eye. It’s very painful to see your child with swollen pink watery eyes. This post is not medical advice and it’s solely based on personal research. It must not be treated as treatment advice.
What Causes the Pink Eye
1) Conjunctivitis in infants and adults is caused by various factors including dust, pollen, smoke or chemicals.
2) Children are more affected than adults due to this disease. Sometimes, swimming in a pool where chlorine is used may also trigger pink eyes in children.
3) Sometimes bacteria can be blamed.
4) Whereas sometimes shampoos and soaps that cause irritation in the eyes are the culprit.
5) For newborns, if the mother has STD, the bacteria can get transferred to the baby’s eyes from the mother’s birth canal. Newborns are very delicate and their immune system is pretty weak. Hence, immediate treatment is needed for them to prevent the further damage.
Is Pink Eye Contagious
Pink eyes are contagious. If bacteria is the culprit, as long as the symptoms are visible like discharge from the eyes is occurring, there are high chances of spreading of the disease. For the pink eyes due to virus, it can spread even before the symptoms of the disease are noticeable.
What is the Treatment for Pink Eye
Though Conjunctivitis is not a serious disease, apparently it looks terrible; especially when children suffer from it. Even though, pink eyes may disappear after a week or so on their own, an immediate check-up and proper treatment by medical expert is a must.
There are many other diseases that may show the symptoms including pain or swelling in the eyes like Conjunctivitis or pink eyes. Hence, it’s important to consult a doctor if your child shows such symptoms. The diagnosis of the disease may include asking you the symptoms your child is showing and for how many days he/she is facing this problem. The doctor may check your child’s medical history and ask for an eye examination. The treatment may include antibiotic teardrops as the issue may be caused by virus or bacteria. For some children, who can’t tolerate the eye drops, ointment is prescribed.
Home Remedies for Pink Eyes: Big NO!
Many health blogs and elderly people suggest some home remedies for Conjunctivitis like proper cleansing of eyes and preservative-less eye/tear drops but one of them can be recommended. Since you are not sure that the visible symptoms are related to Conjunctivitis or any other disease, you can’t take any action as it may risk your child’s vision. No home remedies are recommended for pink eyes. Immediate medical checkup is recommended.
How to Prevent Pink Eye from Spreading in the Family
When one of your kids is suffering from pink eyes, the others in family are at high risk of getting pink eye. First of all, prevention from pink eyes is necessary. This may include washing hand properly and using sanitizers, not sharing personal stuff like handkerchief, washcloths, bath towels etc. Also Stop sharing the pillows, blankets, hand towels, do the laundry separately. Keep the infected child in glasses as much as possible. Tell the infected person to develop a habit of washing and sanitizing their hands properly and avoid any physical contact with a healthy person at home as much as possible.
Bacteria and virus that cause pink eyes easily spread from one person to another through hands, eyes, nose and mouth. The child who already has pink eyes, ask him to not to touch his eyes with his hands as they may be dirty and the condition may become worse.
How to Take care of your Child Suffering from Pink Eye
To soothe a child suffering from pink eyes, you can use cold or warm compress and put it gently on his eyes. This will make him feel comfortable. You can also clean the edges of his eyes but make sure you are using a clean gauze or cotton ball instead of any spare piece of cloth. When eyes generate discharge in the case of pink eyes, the edges are filled with crusts that need to be removed. Consult your doctor in case your child is wearing a contact lens. Sometimes, wearing contact lenses may add to the discomfort and encourage the allergy. If the doctor gives a green signal for contact lenses, make sure you use disinfectant twice a day to keep the lens storage case free of germs and bacteria.
Is Pink Eye Infectious?
Pink eye is highly infectious and the other family members are at high risk to get infected. Conjunctivitis that are viral and caused by viruses like Measles, Rubella, Adenoviruses, Picornaviruses and Herpesviruses are highly contagious. Even the objects that are exposed to such viruses get infected and the person coming in contact with these objects are attached by the virus. If someone is ill at home and there are chances of being faeces and respiratory discharges around, the risk of getting pink eyes increases since these stuff may contain bacteria or viruses. But, it’s not always the case that your other kids or you will get pink eye due to one child suffering from it. When my son got pink eyes, luckily no one around him got the infection.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Pink Eye?
It usually takes 7-15 days. The little redness stays for about 7 days even when swelling and water discharge has stopped.
Children having pink eyes should be stopped from going to school or public places for a few days. This disease is not serious but contagious. Exposure to it may make many people sick at a time. When the doctor says your child is fine and can go to public places or the pinkeye is no more there, he can get back to his old routine.