Pink eye or conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye infections, especially in children. The infection is an acute inflammation which causes redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, which is the clear mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and the surface of the eye. Pink eye can be caused by a virus, bacteria or even allergies such as pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Some forms of pink eye can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home.
Symptoms of Pink Eye
Pink eye develops when the conjunctiva or thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eye becomes inflamed. Symptoms can occur in one or both eyes and include:
- Redness in the white part of the eye
- Itching or burning
- Swollen eyelids and
- Crusty eyes in the morning
Pink Eye Prevention
In all cases of pink eye, practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent from catching and spreading the infection. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and don’t touch your eyes with your hands, especially if you work with or around small children.
If you have allergies, try to stay indoors on days with a high pollen count and to keep doors and windows closed. Inside the house, clean air duct filters, vacuum and dust frequently to reduce the presence of allergens.