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Protect Yourself Against Pink Eye!

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Having pink eye doesn't mean you're looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. It's actually a really gross eye infection that you need to know about. Get the 411 right here.

Pink Eye - What Is It?

Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the clear membrane that covers the sclera (the white part of the eye) and lines the inside of the eyelids. The correct name for this eye infection is conjunctivitis, but people call it pink eye because your eye turns pink or red. Though it can be pretty uncomfortable, pink eye won't affect your vision!

Pink Eye - What Causes It?

Pink eye is usually triggered by an allergic reaction, or when you come into contact with a virus or bacteria.

  • Viral conjunctivitis is spread by contagious viruses, including many that cause the common cold.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by pyogenic bacteria (that's the kind of bacteria that makes pus).
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is more common in kids who have allergies. It's caused by an allergic reaction, usually to dust, pollen, make-up or perfume.

Pink Eye - What Are the Symptoms?

You already know that your eye turns pink, but here's what else you need to look out for.

  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • A gritty feeling, like there's sand in your eyes - but there isn't.
  • A fluid discharge that can turn crusty.
  • Swollen eyelids.
  • Sensitivity to bright light.

Pink Eye - How Is It Treated?

Pink eye can clear up on its own, but it's best to see a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. You should see an improvement after a couple of days of treatment, even though it can take up to two weeks to clear up completely.

Pink Eye - How Can I Prevent It?

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious, which means you can get it when you come into direct contact with someone who has pink eye or with something that person has touched, like a towel or tissue. To prevent pink eye and other eye infections, wash your hands frequently, don't touch or rub your eyes, and don't share make-up, eye drops, towels and washcloths.

Pink Eye - Did U Know?

  • Pink eye is one of the top reasons why kids miss school.

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