What causes Pink Eye? Get Insights on how to get rid of pink eye, causes, and symptoms, best at home treatment, remedies and the incubation period for pink eye.
When pink eye is caused by a virus or bacteria, the infected person can be contagious for several days to several weeks once symptoms (itchy, watery eyes; with or without eye discharge) appear.
How do you Get Pink Eye
The infection of pink eye can either be through a virus, bacteria or an allergy. Conjunctivitis or pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue covering the eye and inner surface of the eyelid. It can be infectious (mainly caused by bacteria or viruses) or noninfectious.
The common types of noninfectious conjunctivitis are allergic conjunctivitis (caused by an allergic reaction) and irritant conjunctivitis (caused by anything that irritates the eyes, such as air pollution or chlorine in pools).
In most cases, infectious conjunctivitis causes only minor problems with no risk of damage to the eyes or vision. In very rare instances, though, it can cause permanent damage or even blindness, so be sure to see your doctor if you think you have pinkeye
If the source of the pink eye is viral, then the infection will need to run its course. In this case, you can relieve symptoms with lubricating eye drops to soothe irritation. Applying warm or cool compresses (whichever feels better) to the outside eyelids, with eyes shut, also can help relieve pink eye symptoms.
Topical antibiotic ointments or eye drops work to clear up infection in pink eye only if the source is bacterial. In this case, you need up to 24 hours for the eye drops or ointment to start working and for the infected person to no longer be contagious.
If pink eye is caused by eye allergies, then the condition is not contagious. But you should consult with your eye doctor to make sure you know which type of pink eye you or your child has.
Incubation Period for Pink Eye in Children
How long is the incubation period for pinkeye and if pinkeye is contagious depends on several things. Schools and day care centers often require a child diagnosed with pink eye to stay home until the condition is resolved either by attending to the doctor or by using natural ways on how to get rid of pink eye.
This is a good idea, because infectious conjunctivitis (pink eye) can be highly contagious in environments where children are in close contact with each other.
The answer to the question about pinkeye contagiousness depends upon the source or cause of the conjunctival irritation.
For example, bacterial and viral causes of pinkeye are almost always contagious and are spread from person to person. However, pinkeye caused by allergens and chemical irritants is not contagious by person-to-person contact. Pinkeye that is contagious has an incubation period as long as 14 days.
However, most doctors do not think that pinkeye becomes contagious to other people until systems start to develop. Some bacterial and viral strains are capable of being transferred from humans to pets (for example, dogs and cats) and also from infected pets to humans.
But determining how long pink eye is contagious and how long you or your child should stay home can be a little tricky. Generally speaking, it should be safe for you to return to work or for your child to return to school or to a day care center if the obvious symptoms of pink eye no longer are present — usually in three to seven days.
What Is the Incubation Period for Pinkeye in Children?
Once the eye gets infected by bacteria or virus, the symptoms do not appear immediately. The incubation period for viral infection is 12 hours to 3 days. When caused by bacteria, the symptoms appear after 1 – 3 days.
Is Pink Eye Contagious During Incubation For Pinkeye Period in Children?
Pink eye caused by virus or bacteria is highly contagious, but during the incubation period for pink eye, it is not contagious. Bacterial conjunctivitis becomes contagious when the symptoms start to appear and continue for 24 hours after an antibiotic is given. For viral conjunctivitis, it is contagious from the time the symptoms appear and last for around
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) generally remains contagious as long as your child is experiencing tearing and matted eyes. Signs and symptoms of pink eye usually improve within three to seven days. When tearing and matted eyes are no longer present, it’s appropriate for a child to return to school or child care.
If the pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, treatment with antibiotic drops or ointment for the eyes may be necessary. Some schools and child care facilities require that a child wait at least 24 hours after starting treatment before returning which is the recommended incubation period for pinkeye. Good hygiene — including hand-washing after touching the eyes — is important to minimize spread of the disease.
What are the symptoms of pinkeye in children?
Viral conjunctivitis may be present in many ways. A child may have a mild burning or itching with some mild redness and watering, or one may have severe discomfort with swelling and redness and significant discharge. The above symptoms should prompt you to seek the best way on how to get rid of pink eye.
There is no way to know how severe each individual case will become nor how long it will last. Most children have some degree of redness, burning, and mucous discharge. Crusting of the lids in the morning is also a very common symptom.
One may also notice a tender nodule near the ear on the infected side; this is a lymph node and is evidence that the body is fighting the infection.
Viral conjunctivitis usually starts in one eye. About 60% of the time it will affect the other eye several days later. The course of the disease may be very different between the two eyes.
What Happens After Incubation Period for Pinkeye?
After incubation period for pinkeye, the symptoms of pink eye begin to develop, including:
- Itchiness and irritation, and the conjunctiva slowly turns pink or red due to inflammation
- Swelling and redness of the eyelids and profuse watering of eyes
- A feeling of having sand in the eyes when you blink
- Burning sensation and photo sensitivity
- Wind and cold air can cause stinging sensation in the eyes
- Watery discharge is seen in viral infection and thick while pus-like discharge is seen in bacterial infection
- It can affect one or both eyes, if one is infected, it will affect the other
Incubation Period for Pink Eye in Adults
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
The incubation period for pinkeye- also known as conjunctivitis (the length of time between when someone gets infected and when symptoms appear) depends on what’s causing it, but usually ranges from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes. The most common symptom is discomfort in the eye, which may feel itchy or gritty. There often will be some discharge from the eyes and pain, swelling of the conjunctiva, and the very pink or red coloring that gives the infection its nickname.
It can be hard to tell whether the infection is caused by a virus or bacteria. In general, the discharge associated with viral conjunctivitis is watery, whereas it will be thicker and more pus-like when the infection is caused by bacteria. When you wake up in the morning, your eyelids may be stuck together (cleaning your eyes with a warm washcloth will loosen the dried crusts).
Itchiness and tearing are common with allergic conjunctivitis. Medically incubation period is defined as the period between the transmission of the allergens in to the eye and appearance of the symptoms.
The incubation period for pink eye is defined as the period between transmission and the beginning of symptoms. Once the virus or bacterium enters the eye, symptoms do not begin immediately. For a viral infection, the incubation period is generally 12 hours to three days. For pink eye caused by a bacterial infection, symptoms generally start one to three days after transmission.
You must make it very clear that both bacterial and viral pink eye is highly contagious during the incubation period. However there are some cases in which the pink eye is not very contagious during the incubation period.
A person suffering from the pink eye due to the bacterial infection is contagious when the first symptom of the infection appears till the twenty-four hours after the antibiotic has taken by him/her. So, you must get a treatment as soon as you notice the pink eye.
If the pink eye in a person is caused due to the virus then that person is contagious up to 14 days as soon the first sign or symptom of conjunctivitis is noticed.
Here you must take care that if you suffer from the bacterial pink eye then do not give the same antibiotic to anyone else in your family as that will not work in case that person may likely to suffer from the viral pink eye.
The antibiotics and the pink eye drops must be taken with the recommendation of your doctor. The antibiotics that are referred by the doctor are given to prevent the secondary infection which you may likely to suffer from.
You must consult your doctor before putting any kind of eye drop when you suffer from the pink eye infection. The doctor will diagnose what kind of pink eye you suffer from and accordingly you will get the treatment.
Among the ways on how to get rid of pink eye, there are home remedies for the pink eye that you can do to relieve yourself from the discomfort due to the pink eye. Wash off the eyes after every hour with the cold water. You can also soak a clean cloth in cold water and place it on your eyes.
Differentiating bacterial, viral and allergic conjunctivitis
In adults it is not always easy to determine whether simple, acute conjunctivitis is bacterial, viral or allergic. Ultimately, swabbing the eye provides the most accurate diagnostic answer but it is not practical to do this for every patient. However, in severe, resistant, atypical cases or in immunosuppressed patients, swabbing for culture and sensitivities is important.
A study has shown that, in adult patients, there is a significant chance that the infection is bacterial when there is a combination of:
- A positive previous history of infectious conjunctivitis.
- An itch present.
- A mucopurulent discharge (‘glue eye’).
When patients describe their eyes glued together in the morning, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a purulent discharge. Viral and allergic conjunctivitis often result in lids that are matted shut in the morning. However, these patients actually have crusting of the lashes due to drying of tears and serous secretions, not the wet, sticky, mucopurulent matting characteristic of bacterial conjunctivitis
How Long Does Pink Eye Last
Exposure to Contagious Pink Eye
It’s difficult to determine exactly how long pink eye is contagious, unless you know the source of the infection.
For example, the rubeola virus causing measles and accompanying pink eye symptoms is extremely contagious, often for as long as two weeks or more.
You also can be continually at risk of getting pink eye from exposure to certain adenoviruses found in water sources such as unchlorinated or dirty swimming pools. This is a good reason to wear swim goggles or a swim mask with a seal that prevents your eyes from being exposed to the water.
You or your child also can be infected with exposure to bacteria and viruses found in the environment, such as contaminated towels or counter tops. The risk of environmental exposure can last for weeks unless contaminated items are cleaned and disinfected.
This is why it’s a good idea to discard items such as mascara brushes and other eye makeup if you’ve had infectious conjunctivitis, even if your eyes have cleared up.
If you are being treated but don’t notice any improvement in your pink eye symptoms after about 10 days, be sure to notify your eye doctor.
How is Conjunctivitis treated?
How to get rid of pink eye mainly depends on the type of infection;
Bacterial Infection. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be prescribed. This can help shorten the course of the infection and the time it is contagious. Wipe away any discharge that accumulates before applying the medication.
Viral Infection. There is no medicine to cure a viral infection. However, many doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics to rule out the possibility of a bacterial infection. Applying cool compresses or artificial tears may help relieve symptoms.
Allergic or Chemical Irritation. Avoid the cause of the irritation (smoke, pollen, etc.). Apply cool compresses to the affected area. Eye drops containing antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve severe allergic conjunctivitis.
Is Pink Eye Contagious
Pinkeye can be contagious or noncontagious.
Unfortunately, the symptoms and signs of both contagious and noncontagious pinkeye often are so similar and difficult to tell. The symptoms and signs of both contagious and noncontagious pinkeye may include the following:
- Redness and/or swelling of the eyelids
- Pinkish color to the whites of the eyes
- Irritated, itchy, gritty and/or a sensation of burning in the eyes
- Increased tearing
- Yellowish or greenish discharge, sometimes with crusting
- Sensitivity to light
Diagnosis by a physician is usually done by physical examination and patient history; seldom are tests run because the only effective treatment is removal of noninfectious irritants and relatively short-term antibiotic therapy if bacterial pinkeye is suspected. In rare severe infections, physicians may utilize conjunctival scrapings and cultures to identify the infecting organism.
For the contagious type, infected people are usually contagious until the active infection passes and the eye secretions are dry.
How can I control and prevent a Conjunctivitis infection?
For control and prevention of a spread, it is advised that;
- Eyes should be kept free of secretions. Avoid contact with secretions and dispose of tissues properly. If a child is in school or daycare, keep the child at home until the eyes are free from discharge and dry.
- Avoid close personal contact.
- Frequent thorough hand washing should be used to control the spread of most infections.
- When children are infected, prevent toy sharing when eye secretions are present.
- Bacterial and viral Conjunctivitis looks the same. If eye drainage is present, consult a physician to determine if treatment is necessary.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually a benign self-limiting illness. However, it can sometimes be serious or signify a severe underlying systemic disease. Occasionally, significant ocular and systemic morbidity may result.
Infectious forms of pinkeye are highly contagious and are spread by direct contact with infected people. If someone has infectious pinkeye, avoid touching the eye area and wash the hands frequently, particularly after applying medications to the eye area.
Never share towels or handkerchiefs, and throw away tissues after each use. Disinfecting surfaces like countertops, sinks, and doorknobs can also help prevent the spread of infectious pinkeye.
Viral conjunctivitis can be prolonged and, in some cases, have lasting consequences. Adenoviral infection is usually (but not always) mild and self-limited, whereas herpes viruses can cause significant associated keratitis and uveitis.
Noncontagious causes (allergens and/or chemical irritants) of pinkeye do not spread to other individuals. Unfortunately, some chemical irritants and allergens can be spread through the air, but contagious causes of pinkeye are usually not spread through the air.
However, contagious causes such as bacterial and viral infections spread easily from person to person by touching an individual infected with pinkeye and then touching your own eyes or eyelids. Individuals who share items like makeup or eye shadow can transfer pinkeye from these surfaces to other individuals.
Pinkeye in newborns can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections and can be very serious for the newborns. Contagious pinkeye often spreads to both eyes in the infected individual.
How to Get Rid of Pink Eye
Understanding which kind of pink eye you are suffering from will help you in determining the type of treatment to apply. The different types of pink eye are caused either by a viral or bacterial infection, allergic reactions and chemical splashes into the eye.
All types of conjunctivitis causes the eye to become red, inflamed, swollen and teary. There are also other symptoms that will help you in determining the different types of pink eye according to wikihow.
Viral pink eye. This condition is caused by a virus. Its outbreak may be accompanied with other respiratory problems such as sore throat and cold complications. This type of pink eye has no medication, it usually needs to run its course that may take up to three weeks. It is also highly contagious and can affects other people who are close to infected person.
Bacterial pink eye. It results from a bacterial infection and it may cause presence of yellow or green discharge from the affected eye. The secretion may cause the eye lids to shut in the morning after waking up. It may affect one or both the two eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis may require doctor’s examination and treatment. You may be prescribed antibiotics and eye drops that helps in alleviating the symptoms.
Allergic pink eye. They are caused by allergic reaction of the body to different allergens in your environment. It is normally accompanied with other symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy and running nose. This condition usually affects both the eyes and it is not contagious. Eye drops containing anti-histamine may be used to relieve the burning sensation and other symptoms.
Chemical and foreign objects pink eye. Chemical splash may cause conjunctivitis. Alkali chemicals are very harsh as compared to acidic chemicals when they come into contact with the eye. Washing the eye with plenty of water may reduce the inflammation of the eye.
Visiting your doctor for treatment
The doctor has the skills and knowledge on how to get rid of pink eye using the various treatments. The doctor may diagnose and examine your aye carefully to determine the cause. He or she will therefore give a good recommendation on the medicines to use depending with the cause of your condition. You are supposed to visit your doctor in case of:
The symptoms become worrisome. For instance, when the redness of the eye deepens, excessive pain and swelling of the eye.
The condition affects your vision. When the eye are too sensitive to light or when you start having problems like short sightedness, visit your optician as before the condition becomes worse.
When the condition becomes resistance to some of the home remedy treatments for bacterial conjunctivitis.
Severe re-occurrences of allergic pink eye. You may be given some medicines that prevent this condition from re-occurring time to time.
When your body immune system is weakened with other viral infections such as HIV infections and other cancer treatments
You may be prescribed to use anti-histamine eye drops that helps in clearing the symptoms of histamines released by the body due to allergic reactions. The use of decongestant eye drops may also help in reducing the inflammation of the eye.
Antibiotics are also effective on how to get rid of bacterial pink eye overnight. They are given inform of pill and eye drops that helps in treating this condition fast. Take the medicines as directed by your doctor. Complete the whole dose even if you may start to see some improvements on the eye.
Home Remedies for Pink Eye – Natural Cures, In Babies, Adult Humans
What are the best pink eye home remedies? There are various home remedies and treatments that are effective in treating the conjunctivitis. You can simply get rid of the redness, itching, swelling and lacrimation by performing the simple procedures below:
Cleaning the infected eye
Cleaning of the infected eye on a regular basis helps in treating the condition fast. With clean hands use a cotton wool to wipe away the secretion and excessive water from the affected eye. Such secretions increases the multiplication of bacteria and virus in the eye.
Discard the used cotton wool or tissue paper immediately and wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning. If the other eye is not affected, avoid touching it with contaminated hands.
Chemical pink eye can also be treated by washing the whole eye using plenty of clean water. It helps in reducing the inflammations by washing away the chemical substances that splashed into the eye. The affected eye may get back to normal after 24 to 48 hours depending with the type of the chemical.
Warm or cold compress
Applying a warm or cold compress on the affected eye may help in reducing the swelling of the eye lids as well as helping in relieving the pain. A warm compress works best on a viral or bacterial pink eye while a cold compress may work best for allergic or chemical splash pink eye according to WebMD.
Soak a clean washcloth in either warm or cold water, wring it to get rid of excess water and place it over closed eye lid. Repeat the procedure 8-10 times twice a day until the condition improves. You may be asking yourself this question, is pink eye contagious while apply a compress? The answer is yes.
The compressing wash cloth may be carrying the bacteria or the virus after compressing the affected eye. Clean and disinfect it before compressing the other eye that may not be seriously affected. Alternatively, you may have a different compress for each eye using a different washcloth.
Raw honey contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that gives it power on how to get rid of pink eye fast and easy. It was used from traditionally by the ancient Egyptian in treating various eye problems including conjunctivitis. It works for both internal and external eye problems and you don’t need to worry about dosage while using. You simply estimate the dose that may work best for your condition.
To use honey, you simply need ½ tea spoon of raw honey, a pinch of sea salt and a glass of warm boiled water. Dissolve the two in the water and stir well to mix. Allow them to stand and cool for 5 minutes. Put the solution in a clean eye dropper and apply 2 drops in the affected eye three times a day. Repeat the procedure until the eye heals.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the potential of treating both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. It contains antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that are effecting in killing the micro-organisms that may be causing the eye problems. It helps in killing the bacteria and virus that causes re-occurrences of pink eye in children and adults.
Apple cider vinegar can be used as an eye wash. You simply mix 1 tea spoon of apple cider vinegar and mix in a warm cup of water. Use a cotton ball to wash the eye from the corners and the eye lids. Allow few drops into the eye. It may sting a bit but you will enjoy the benefits when it treats the eye.
Probiotics should be among your priority when thinking about treating pink eye at home according to natural cures. They help in killing the bad bacteria in the body while replacing it with a good bacteria. Bad bacteria in the body causes various problems such as conjunctivitis.
Probiotics is found in human breast and it has been used from traditional time in treating conjunctivitis and other eye problems. Breast milk also contain antimicrobial properties that are effective in treating the eye problems. Putting a few drop in the eye works magic by treating conjunctivitis in few hours.
There are also other supplements that contain probiotic. They can be taken on daily basis to kill the bad bacteria in the body. This helps in preventing re-occurrences of conjunctivitis. Other fermented milk products such as yogurt contain this important bacteria.
Silver eye drops are also effective on how to get rid of pink eye fast naturally. It was used from long time ago before some of the pharmaceutical ointments became available. It contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that treats the eye fast without stinging.
Obtain your colloidal silver in a healthy food store near your location. Put some in a clean eye dropper and apply 1-2 drops in the affected aye. The conjunctivitis will be able to go within a day.
Lemon or lime juice can be used for both antiviral and antibacterial in treating pink eye. Although this remedy is effective in treating conjunctivitis, it stings so much that can make you go mad for some minutes. You can simply weigh the short term side effects it has and its long term treatment and decide on what to choose.
You simply obtain some juice from the lemon and apply it directly in to the eye. If you find this remedy inappropriate, you may choose to use a different one. It is you are desperate, then it is highly recommended for pink eye treatment.
How to Treat Pink Eye – Over the Counter, At Home Fast
What is the best pink eye treatment? You can also treat conjunctivitis at home using over the counter medicines. Some of them are prescribed medicines and are only bough after a doctor’s diagnosis. You can also buy some without having a doctor prescription by simply observing and determining the type of conjunctivitis. They include the following:
- Artificial tears
This are over-the-counter mild saline lubricant that replace the tears in the eye. They are used to relieve the various symptoms of conjunctivitis by washing away the contamination caused by the virus, bacterial, allergens and chemical splashes into the eye. They help in improving the symptoms among individual with viral conjunctivitis since it has no medicines.
Anti-histamines eye drops
Anti-histamine eye drops works best for allergic conjunctivitis. The body reacts to allergens by releasing histamine that causes inflammation of the conjunctiva. Such eye drop will therefore help in alleviating the irritation and the swelling of the eye.
Decongestants does not heal this condition. They are effective on how to get rid of pink eye by alleviating the symptoms such as irritation, swelling and pain.
How to Cure Viral Pink Eye at Home
Viral conjunctivitis has no medication, the only way to cure is allowing it to go through its course. There are various antiviral medication and home remedies that can only help to improve the symptoms.
Applying a warm compress on the affected eye helps in relieving the pain and redness of the eye. Washing your hands thoroughly can help to avoid the risk of spreading the infection to the other eye. Clean the wash cloth and other equipment thoroughly to avoid spreading the infection.