One of my twins came home from preschool on Monday with pink eye. It’s the second time in just a few months, and he also had it a year ago (along with his twin brother). Unfortunately, pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, is highly contagious, so it tends to circulate frequently in the schools.
The first sign for my kids is usually the “gunkiness,” as I call it. Mucus oozes out of the corner of their eye. The affected eye(s) also get red, which you can see especially well if you pull down on the lower lid. Some kids may complain about watering eyes, swollen eyelids, itchiness or soreness, crusty eyes when they awaken from sleep, or the feeling that something is in their eyes.
Pink eye can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, so it’s important to get to the doctor for some medication because the bacterial kind won’t go away on its own. (The viral form will usually disappear by itself in 7-10 days.) People with allergies may also suffer from allergic conjunctivitis.
And, yes, adults are at risk of contracting it, too! Everyone in the house should wash their hands frequently. Don’t share towels or pillowcases. Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their face, especially their eyes and nose. Kids with pink eye need to stay home from school until their eyes are better to prevent spreading it to their classmates. If you also come down with pink eye, wear your glasses instead of contact lenses while you’re undergoing treatment (and throw out your old pair of lenses) and replace all of your eye cosmetics. Source: The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology