Back-To-School Time #1: What is Pinkeye?

Published on Sep 06, 2017 at 11:29a.m.

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the inflammation (redness, swelling, etc.) of the thin tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.  Pinkeye or conjunctivitis can be spread when hands become contaminated by direct contact with discharge from the infected eye or by touching other surfaces that have been contaminated by the secretions of the infected eye(s). 

The following are the different types of pinkeye (conjunctivitis):

Bacterial

  • Red or pink, itchy, painful
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Eyes may be crusted shut in the morning
  • May affect one or both eyes

Viral:

  • Pink, swollen, watery eyes that may be light sensitive
  • Usually only affects one eye

Allergic:

  • Itchy, red and excessive tearing
  • Usually affects both eyes

Chemical:

  • Red, watery eyes, especially after swimming in chlorinated water

The following are measures for controlling the spread of pinkeye:

  • Wash hands before and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Sanitize objects that are commonly touched by hands or face such as counters, tables, doorknobs, railings, telephones, blankets, toys, etc.
  • If you believe that you or your child may have pinkeye, contact your health care provider or pediatrician

For more information about pinkeye/conjunctivitis, please go to the following websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/conjunctivitis/ 

http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/conjunctivitis.html

http://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/

The Teaneck Public Health Nurse can also be reached at:  (201) 227-6251, if you have any questions

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