How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious: Causes, Types, and Treatments

Oct 01, 2020 08:45 PM

How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious? - Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
SHARE - Is the white part of your eye turning pink and feels itchy? Wondering if you should get treated or not? Keep calm, this condition could be the symptom of a pink eye.

Pink eye is an eye condition where redness and swelling appear in the conjunctiva. Also revered as conjunctivitis, it occurs in the mucous membrane that locates between the eyelid and eye surface.

The symptoms of pink eye are sticky eyes and watery eyes. In some cases of sticky eye, the eyelids get stuck together and are sensitive to light. However, the symptoms will stop to improve after 3 to 7 days. So, how long is pink eye contagious? Will it leave on its own?

There are two kinds of pink eye that you should know. One is caused by a bacterial infection and another is caused by a viral infection. How long is pink eye contagious depends on what kind of eye pink types and how it gets treated. Regularly, a pink eye can clear after a few days or up to two weeks commonly.

Let's learn what causes these pink eyes, how long is pink eye contagious, and when to see a doctor.

Differences between Bacterial and Viral Pink Eye

Both types of pink eye are caused by an upper respiratory infection. They can start to get triggered after a cold or sore throat.

A viral pink eye is caused by a virus. It starts to spread out from nose to eyes. This pink eye most likely to happen when someone infected coughs or sneezes. Then, you touch the contaminated object and touch your eyes after.

However, the bacterial pink eye is caused by bacteria that most likely to spread from your skin or respiratory to your eyes. Consuming Antibiotics can help you to shorten the contagious of pink eye cause of bacteria and also reduce the spreading to other complications.

How long is pink eye contagious?

Both of the pink eye types are contagious. Commonly, these types of pink eye can be contagious for up to two weeks after the first symptoms appear. But, they can disappear faster or last longer depending on the treatments and the following symptoms.

1. How long is bacterial pink eye contagious on surfaces?

How long is pink eye contagious caused by these bacteria? This type of pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection of bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia or Staphylococcus aureus. Commonly, this kind of mild bacterial pink eye can improve within 10 days.

To help to relieve the pink eye caused by bacteria, you can cold-compresses your infected eye. Then, use artificial tears. This artificial tears drop can be bought in-store with any doctor's prescription. If you are often wearing contact lenses, you need to stop wearing it until the pink eye clears or if your doctor tells you it's okay to wear the lenses.

But, how long after the first treatment is pink eye contagious? For example, if you use Antibiotics, this pink eye can start to clear within 24 hours from the infection after you consume the Antibiotics.  

2. How long is viral pink eye contagious?

If a bacterial pink eye can be relieved using Antibiotics, a viral pink eye won't get better with it. It mostly must run its course. This viral eye pink is also highly contagious. In some cases, this pink eye is accompanied by some other symptoms like a cold or respiratory infection.

Similar to the bacterial type, this viral pink eye can also infect us through virus-contaminated objects or hand-to-eye contact. The virus causing this viral pink eye is namely adenovirus and herpes virus. But, how long is pink eye contagious? They mostly improve within 7 to 14 days without treatment.

To help to relieve the pink eye caused by a virus, you can take a short-term remedy by cleaning around the infected eye gently with a wet cotton ball or cloth. This will help to soothe the pink eye. You can also close your eyes and get them covered with a cold-wet cloth across to relieve the pink eye.  

When to get a medical check?

When to see a doctor? - Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator from Pexels

The most important thing to notice is that how you treat your healthcare can help you to faster clean up the pink eye. Most of the mild pink eye cases are contagious with or without treatment. However, though not many, there is also a severe pink eye that can result in swelling of the cornea.

It shows swelling on the clear layer of the front of the eye. In this case, you need to check up or get proper medical treatment from a doctor.

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