Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is never a pleasant experience to have to deal with. Whether you’re trying to get pink eye treatment for yourself or someone you care for, let our team at North County Health Services (NCHS) get you taken care of in no time.

Conjunctivitis is defined as an abnormal redness and swelling of the mucous membrane that lines the surface of the eye and the eyelid. Pink is a relatively common experience and doesn’t take long to go away on its own, although pink eye treatment can help to speed up the recovery process.

“How long is pink eye contagious?” is a common question we get. Although each case is unique, pink eye is generally contagious for as long as pink eye is present. Or in other words, for as long as you have pink eye and need to take pink eye medicine, it is still contagious. Thankfully, it can take as little as about a week (3-10 days) to go through pink eye.

Pink Eye Symptoms

If you’re worried that you or someone you know might have pink eye, look for the following symptoms that may indicate that pink eye is present:

  • Visual redness in the white portion of the eyes.
  • Eyelids appear swollen.
  • Regular itching of the eyes.
  • Burning feeling in the eyelids.
  • Areas in front of the ears are swollen and tender.
  • More tearing than usual.
  • Drainage from the eyes that are clear, whitish, and/or slightly thick.
  • Abnormal sensitivity to light.

Remember that pink eye is contagious. If you notice that you have pink eye symptoms, avoid contact with people, always wash your hands, and do your best to prevent the condition from spreading to people around you. Likewise, if someone you know or see is experiencing pink eye symptoms, do your absolute best to avoid direct contact and to wash your hands more regularly to avoid getting pink eye yourself.

To get peace of mind about whether or not you have pink eye, visit a doctor who can diagnose pink eye through distinguishable signs and symptoms.

Some forms of pink eye may be more serious, which can warrant a visit with the doctor. If pink eye is returning rather persistently, then it’s time to schedule a doctor’s visit to see what the real cause is. Sometimes allergies can play a role in creating a suitable environment for pink eye to thrive. Chemical-induced pink eye warrants careful flushing of the eyes and an immediate call to the doctor for further instructions.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of pink eye:

How to Treat Pink Eye

Getting pink eye treatment once you’ve identified pink eye symptoms is relatively easy. In some cases, no treatment or pink eye medicine will be recommended as viral pink eye isn’t generally treated by most medication. You’ll want to talk to your doctor about whether or not your pink eye can be treated, and what the best forms of treatment are available for your situation.

Other forms of pink eye treatment include pink eye drops, pills, or ointment to help clear the pink eye infection.

Unfortunately, if your case of pink eye is deemed a “viral” case, then no direct treatment (e.g., antibiotics, eye drops, etc.) is available and the virus will simply need to run its course. Thankfully, it only takes about a week (3-10 days) for a viral pink eye infection to clear out.

Regardless if your pink eye is treatable, you can reduce the pain and discomfort of your pink eye case by using a warm or cold compress on/around the eyes, making sure to use a new washcloth for each eye, and for each use in order to avoid spreading the infection even more.

The best form of “treatment” is proper pink eye prevention to avoid it in the first place. Ensure that you are regularly washing your hands and maintaining good personal cleanliness to avoid unwanted bacteria from entering your personal ecosystem. Avoid sharing objects with people that have pink eye, such as a towel.

If you notice signs of pink eye in yourself or someone you take care of, contact us right away! We’ll get you in and make sure to set you up with the pink eye treatment necessary to make the recovery process quicker and less uncomfortable. Visit any of our local healthcare centers or give us a call to recommend the closest location to you.

No matter how minor or severe, we’ll happily take care of you and/or your family that is dealing with pink eye. We’ll help you identify the cause of the pink eye, determine how treatable it is, help you get treatment for your pink eye (such as eye drops for pink eye, and other medication to clear out infection), and more.