By Dr S.S. Gill
In our series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talks to us about Conjunctivitis and how to prevent it spreading.
PINK EYE, or conjunctivitis, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and insides of the eyelids.
Common types of conjunctivitis are the bacterial and viral varieties, both of which are highly contagious. It may start in one eye and then spread to the other eye or to another person. The allergic variety of pink eye is not contagious.
HOW IS CONJUNCTIVITIS TRANSMITTED?
Pink eye is spread from contact such as shaking hands with an infected person and then touching your eyes. The other common way of spread is by touching an object that has been contaminated with the germs and then touching the eyes.
HOW CAN PINK EYE BE PREVENTED FROM SPREADING?
So, how does one prevent the spread of the pink eye when one member of the family is suffering from it?
Here are some pointers to take note of:
HANDWASHING – Always wash your hands BEFORE and AFTER instilling eye drops into the pink eye. Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES – this worsens the condition or may cause corneal abrasions which can get infected to become corneal ulcers.
STOP CONTACT LENS WEAR that you normally use.
AVOID REUSING HANDKERCHIEFS and TOWELS contaminated with eye discharge to wipe the eyes. It is best to use tissue paper which is used only once each time before being discarded to prevent reinfections.
DISCARD PROMPTLY ANY TISSUES that you have used to wipe off discharge or tears.AVOID SHARING personal items, towels, eye drops, makeup and makeup brushes.
DO NOT SHARE SUNGLASSES used by anyone with conjunctivitis.
START with FRESH CONTACT LENSES and SOLUTIONS after you have recovered if you are a contact lens wearer.
CHANGE your PILLOWCASE and TOWELS DAILY.
WASH with MILD SOAP and WATER any SPECTACLES you normally wear.
REPLACE any old eye make-up used with NEW EYE MAKE-UP.