Pink eye (also called conjunctivitis) happens when the thin mucous membrane called the conjunctiva on the outside of your eye and inside of your eyelid becomes inflamed. Our team at Riverdale Vision Care believes it’s helpful to know how to spot fact from fiction when it comes to this common eye condition so you’ll be better prepared to help your loved ones avoid or manage it.
5 Common Myths About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
1. Pink eye is always contagious.
While certain types of pink eye are very contagious—such as the kinds caused by viruses or bacteria—other types, like allergic or chemical conjunctivitis, are not contagious and can’t be passed from person to person.
2 Only school-aged children get pink eye.
Pink eye is very common in young children, but people of all ages can get it—even newborns.
3. If your eyes are red and itchy, it means you have conjunctivitis.
Red, itchy, watery eyes are the main signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis. But other conditions can cause these symptoms, too. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms is to see an eye doctor.
4. It’s not a big deal to rub your eyes if you have pink eye.
While rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief from pink eye symptoms like itchiness, doing so may cause eye damage or worsening infection. If your case of pink eye is contagious, touching your eyes also increases the risk of spreading the condition to your other eye or other people.
Long story short: do NOT rub your eyes! Our Riverdale optometrist team recommends treatments such as eye drops or warm compresses to soothe eye irritation.
5. Pink eye heals up on its own, so you don’t need to go to an eye doctor.
Most cases of pink eye do heal up on their own in about two weeks, but some cases can lead to complications if left untreated. An eye doctor can provide appropriate treatment to help you heal properly and stay more comfortable.
You should also see an eye doctor if your pink eye symptoms don’t go away after two weeks or if you have eye pain, blurry vision, a weakened immune system, or a preexisting eye condition.
Do you live near Riverdale NJ and have concerns about your loved ones’ eye health? Contact Riverdale Vision Care at (973) 248-0060 to schedule an eye exam for the whole family and learn more about the comprehensive eye care services we offer.