Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – Myths and Facts

Conjunctivitis, also known as eye flu or pink eye is a common eye infection, especially during monsoon. Let’s bust some common myths regarding #conjunctivitis or #eyeflu

Myth # 1 – You could get conjunctivitis just by looking at the infected person’s eyes

Fact: Conjunctivitis or eye flu doesn’t spread just by looking. It is more of a contact infection that spreads by “touch”. The discharge that comes out of the eyes of an infected person contains the pathogens (bacteria, viruses). If the infected person touches their eyes and then touched a surface, and if you touch that surface and touch your eyes, that is how the germs get transferred to your eyes.

It is advisable that if you have conjunctivitis, you wash your hands frequently, and don’t share your handkerchiefs, towels, or pillows because they may contain germs that may spread if anyone comes in contact with them.

Myth # 2 Conjunctivitis is always infectious and highly contagious.

Fact: Not all types of conjunctivitis are caused due to infections. Some types of conjunctivitis can be due to allergies to dust, pollen etc. Pollen based allergies are seasonal.

There is also something called as “chemical conjunctivitis”, which occurs as a reaction to any medication that you may be using for your eyes or a contact lens solution.

Myth # 3 If you have conjunctivitis, you need antibiotics

Fact: Antibiotics tablets are rarely prescribed for conjunctivitis. In most cases, antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed. Specific types of medicines are prescribed for specific types of eye flu such as antivirals for viral conjunctivitis, anti-allergic for allergic conjunctivitis.

Myth # 4 If you have red eyes, you have conjunctivitis

Fact: Conjunctivitis is just one of the many causes of red eyes. If you have eye redness, it is best to consult your eye doctor to rule out other serious conditions such as glaucoma, scleritis and uveitis.

Myth # 5 There is no treatment for conjunctivitis

Fact: Although mild conjunctivitis resolves on its own in a few days, some types of conjunctivitis may be more severe and need specific treatment.

It is best to consult your eye doctor for the correct treatment.

Myth # 6 Conjunctivitis can make you go blind

Fact: Conjunctivitis or eye flu is not usually vision threatening. Most cases of conjunctivitis resolve on their own within one or two weeks. Some others need some medications. But in 99% of cases, there is no permanent effect on vision.

Myth # 7 – Once you get conjunctivitis, you need to throw away all my bedsheets, pillow covers, eye-makeup and contact lenses.

Fact: Although conjunctivitis or eye flu is known to spread through touch from infected persons or contaminated surfaces, such extreme steps are unnecessary. You may need to discard your contact lenses and contaminated solutions.

It is advised that you don’t wear eye-makeup while you are having conjunctivitis. If you do, it may read to contamination of your make-up and you may have to discard it.

For your bedsheets and pillow covers a warm water wash with a disinfectant solution such as savlon may be sufficient.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at neha.pednekar1489@gmail.com

I’ll see you soon in my next blog. Till then, take good care of your eyes and stay healthy!

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