Is Pink Eye Contagious, Causes, in Adults, Spread, Incubation Period, Get Rid fast

Get insight on the causes, symptoms of pink eye, how it is spread and how to get rid of it fast.

What Causes Pink Eye?

Also referred to as conjunctivitis, pink eye is a condition where by your conjunctiva (the thin lining tissue inside of your eyelid and the white part of your eyeball) is inflamed. This condition usually affects both children and adults. When you are affected by pink eye, blood vessels in your eyes become more visible thereby giving your eyes a pinkish tinge. There are numerous conditions that may cause inflammation to your eyes hence leading to pink eye. It is very important to know the cause of your condition so that you can strike the best treatment.
Pink eye is a condition that is associated with other numerous symptoms. The symptoms may vary from person to person depending on what is causing the pink eye and the immunity strength of the person. Pink eye may be sometimes contagious and in other cases it may not. However, the following symptoms may show up in both contagious and noncontagious type of conjunctivitis:

  • Swelling and redness around the eyelids
  • Your white part of the eyes may turn pinkish
  • Inflamed, irritated gritty eyes
  • Sensitiveness to light and a burning sensation
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Yellowish or greenish discharge from the eyes
  • Crusty eyes in severe conditions

Your medical provider may diagnose this condition generally by examination and asking questions on your history. In rare cases, a test may be contacted since the only way to treat effectively is by getting rid of the noninfectious irritants and the use of some antibiotics if bacteria is the cause and after a short time you will be healed. If your condition is serious, rarely your doctor may use conjunctival scrapings and cultures to find out the organism that results in the infection.

Is Pink Eye Contagious

The level at which pink eye is contagious depends on the underlying cause that resulted to the pink eye. As we have said there are several conditions that can lead to this problem and some of the conditions make it to be contagious. For example, pink eye that results from bacterial and viral infections have been known to be the most contagious causes and they can spread from one person to another.
However, pink eye that is caused by things like allergy and chemical irritation is not contagious. Usually, a contagious pink eye may run its course of about 7-14 days after which it may heal without medical intervention. However, for the case of bacterial infection you have to speed up the healing by use of some antibiotics eye drops.
In most cases pink eye will only become contagious after symptoms have started to show up. There are some bacterial and viral strains that are said to be transferred from human beings to pets and as well from pets to human beings.

Pink Eye Causes

There are numerous underlying conditions that may result to pink eye. As we have said above, some of these conditions are contagious and therefore may spread if a serious isolation mechanism is not done to the affected individual. The following are some of the condition that results to pink eye:

  1. Viral infection

This is the most common type of pink eye that affects human beings. The pink eye usually is caused by a type of virus commonly referred to as adenovirus which also affects the respiratory system. Pink eye caused by viral infection is also considered as the most contagious type of conjunctivitis.

  1. Bacterial infection

Also, you may get pink eye from bacterial infection specifically caused by staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria respectively. This may be visible by a discharge from the affected eyes. You may treat this condition by the use of antibiotics eye drops.

  1. Allergic pink eye

There are several substances that may cause allergy to some individuals. These include pollen, mold, animal dander, dust, mites and many more. If you realize any of these is causing you pink eye, it is important that remove them from your surrounding or leave the environment dominated by it.

  1. Chemicals irritation

Your eyes may react to some chemicals especially those used in the manufacture of cosmetics. For example, you may accidentally spray your eyes with perfume there by resulting to pink eye. In this case, you are advised to wash your eyes with plenty of water so that the chemicals are washed away.

Pink Eye incubation Period

Once your eye is infected by either bacteria or virus type pink eye, the symptoms will takes sometime before they show up. The time it takes from when you were infected to the time symptoms to show up is what is referred to as an incubation period. Every type of pink eye has its own incubation period just as we have discussed below.
The time pink eye will take to heal depends on the underlying cause that resulted to it.

  • Usually if it is caused by allergy or irritation resulting from chemicals, it may take short time to cure roughly around 12 to 24 hours, if the patient is removed from the environment that contains the irritants. This is because if no more irritation takes place, your tears may wash away the allergens or the chemicals within a short time. If a patient continues staying in the environment that contains the irritants, he may end up suffering from pink eye even for months.
  • Pink eye that result from bacterial infection may take around 24 to 48 hours if the patient is introduced to antibiotics eye drops treatment. Antibiotics may also help in reducing the probability of the condition being contagious. However, if you do not consider medication, it may take longer than that for the infection to heal.
  • However, if your condition is caused by viral infection, you simply have to leave it to run its course which may take 7 to 14 days before it goes away. Usually, viral pink eye can only be treated symptomatically, and it takes some days before the symptoms are healed. When the symptoms have resolved, that is the time when this condition is cured.

You should know that it is possible that you can get pink eye from both repeated infections and a repeated occasion of allergic or chemicals irritation. Therefore, all types of pink eye can occur again.

How is Pink Eye Spread

Pink eye that results from noncontagious causes such as allergens and chemicals irritation may not spread from one person to another. However, some of these allergens and chemicals may be spread through the air but after a person has been affected, the pink eye itself from these causatives cannot be spread.
If your pink eye is caused by bacterial or viral infection, then it will be contagious thus, it will be spread from you to another person. The spreading may take place by just touching another person if you are infected by this type of pink eye, more so if you happened to touch your eyelids. The spread may be high especially to those people who share makeups such as eye pencil, and eye shadow since these makeups with involve touching of the eyelids.
While a woman is undergoing delivery, a newborn may as well get pink eye which may be as a result of sexually transmitted disease and this can be very serious to your toddler. Therefore, if your doctor realizes that you have sexually transmitted infections he/she may recommend a cesarean section, so that your baby is safe. Usually, if you are suffering from contagious pink eye, all your eyes are affected.

How to Get Rid of Pink Eye Fast

When you realize the type of underlying condition that is causing your pink eye, it is very easy to get rid of it. There are numerous home remedies and treatments you can use to cure these conditions. Every type of treatment will work well depending on the underlying condition. However, if you find it that your condition is not responding to our remedies or treatments we have shared below, it will be better if you visit your doctor.
Home remedies

  1. Clean the infected eye

While you clean the infected eye repeatedly in a regular basis, you speed up the healing process. Wash your hands clean before starting this process. You may take a clan cotton wool and wipe away the discharge and tears that are secreted from the affected eye. This is because such discharge facilitates the multiplication of the virus or the bacteria that causes the infection. After that make sure you dispose of the cotton wool far away from reach of other persons. Make sure you repeat the process with another cotton wool until the affected eye is clean.
In case of a chemical irritation caused pink eye, you may also treat it by cleaning your eyes by use of plenty of water. This will help in reduction of the inflammation by washing away the chemical from the eye. The affected eye may get back to normal after 24 hours especially if you rest it by having a sleep depending on the strength of the chemical that affected it.

  1. Warm or cold compress

You may either use a warm compress to facilitate the faster movement of blood to and from the affected eye to speed up the healing, or also a cool compress can help in relieving pain from the affected eye. What you need to do for warm compress is to heat some water and put in a basin. Then dip a clean cloth inside and rinse to remove excess water. Then place the cloth on your affected eye.
You may do the same process for cool water as well. Make sure you do not harm your eye since it is considered to be a very delicate part of the body.

  1. Honey cure for pink eye

Honey has been used for long time as an antibacterial treatment. The antibacterial property in it makes it the best home treatment for pink eye especially the one that results from bacterial infections. There are numerous ways you may prepare your honey for conjunctivitis treatment.
Honey and warm milk

You may warm some small amount of milk and put it in a bowl. After which you will add honey in it of almost equal portion and mix it well to a soft fine paste. Then apply the paste on the affected eye at least twice a day. This is the best treatment that can help in getting rid of pink eye within a day. For better results, you may add in it a few drops of eyewash.
Honey and chamomile
Chamomile is considered to be a strong soothing agent.  If you mix it with honey which has antimicrobial properties, they both deliver great results when it comes to treating pink eye. You just have to boil a cup of water with chamomile tea bags in it, with some calendula and fennel seeds as well. Allow the mixture to cool a little bit before sieving and adding some honey in it. Then apply the mixture on your affected eye. You may do this twice a day for greater results.

  1. Aloe vera gel

This is a home remedy that is well known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Aloe vera contains amodin and aloin compounds that make it special when it comes to fighting the viral and bacterial type of pink eye infection. Also, you may use aloe vera gel in relieving inflammation from your pink eye, which is a major symptom associated with the condition.
You just have to find a fresh leaf of aloe vera, and squeeze it up to remove the gel from it. The put some few drops of this gel in your affected eye. This may result to some itchiness but after some time it may cool down. You may do this once daily until you realize some improvement. Some sources have revealed that some compounds contained in aloe vera can be used in treating safely some ailments that affect your cornea.

  1. Turmeric for pink eye

Turmeric is a great remedy that can be used in the treatment of inflammation caused by pink eye, pain, swelling and bruising that result from an eye infection as well. According to research findings, unlike aspirin and ibuprofen, turmeric is very useful when it comes to dealing with inflammation without damaging other parts of the body like liver and kidney.
You just need to boil some water and put it in a cup. Then add some few spoonful of turmeric powder. Stir and let that mixture to cool before you apply few drops in your affected eye.

  1. Green tea

This is a natural herb that has numerous benefits such as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and may others. Green tea bags can also be used in the relieving of tired eyes. There all this properties make green tea a great treatment when it comes to dealing with pink eye fast.
You simply have put a single tea bag of organic green tea into a mug of warm water. Let the mixture to cool while water changes its color. Remove the tea bag from water and let it cool before putting it on your affected eye, to stay there for about 15 minutes. You may do these 3 times a day from greater results. Sources have it that green tea contains the best bioflavonoids that facilitate faster relieving or irritation and inflammation that results from pink eye.

  1. Neem oil

This oil is usually made from neem seeds extract. The oil is said to contain medicinal properties that makes it a great remedy for human skin and other conditions such as eye problems. You may use this home remedy in the relieving of irritation from pink eye since it contains soothing properties. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in it may as well help while dealing with the infections that result from bacterial pink eye.
By use of a cotton wool, you may wipe a little neem oil around your infected eye including the eyelid. Leave this to stay the whole night before washing it off in the morning. This may offer relieve very fast. If you are using neem powder instead, just dilute it in boiled water and allow it to settle down. Then use the solution by applying some few drops in your affected eye.

  1. Colloidal silver

This is a home remedy that is used in the treatment of infections that result from yeast, bacteria, parasites and viruses of all kinds as per research findings. This remedy is also known to cause a direct effect on human respiratory process cells. Therefore, it is a great home treatment for pink eye that is caused by virus or bacteria due to its antibacterial and antibacterial properties.
You have to clean your hands, and then you open the infected eye. Put some few drops in the eye and repeat the same process to the other eye to avoid spread of the disease. This remedy may be used for children and adults.

When to see your doctor

In most cases pink eye is usually a short term condition and may resolve without your intervention, there are circumstances you may need to contact your doctor. If it happens you have pink eye that is associated with the following other symptoms, you should seek for doctor’s appointment:

  • If your symptoms keeps own worsening instead of improving, especially if you tried treating the condition.
  • If the pain from your eyes keeps on increasing to severity.
  • If the pink eye continuously becomes red in color.
  • If you start having a blurred or impaired vision.
  • If you happened to have a pre- existing eye condition.
  • If your immune system is weak either due to HIV or chemotherapy cancer

If you are pregnant and suspect to be having any sexually transmitted infections, you should consider visiting your doctor so that the condition is treated right away before your day of delivery.
More references

  1. Is pink eye contagious:
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  4. Incubation period for pink eye:
  5. Red, itchy, watery eyes: