Find out if Pink eye is contagious and for how long

how long is pink eye contagious

how long is pink eye contagious

What is pink eye?

Before we address the question- “How long is pink eye contagious?” Let’s learn about what pink eye is. The conjunctiva is the lining that covers the white portion of the human eye. Conjunctivitis is also known as Pinkeye. This is an infection of the transparent membrane that covers the eyeball. Once the minute blood vessels get infected and inflamed, they are clearly seen in the eye; this makes the eyeball appear reddish or pink.

Conjunctivitis is mainly caused due to the infection by bacteria or viruses or if an allergy is triggered by an allergen and in infants due to incompletely opened tear ducts.

The infection causes irritation of the eye, but it doesn’t affect vision. The infection can be controlled by diagnosing at the right time and taking proper treatment.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Itching sensation
  • Gritty feeling
  • A discharge is produced during the night, which prevents the opening of the eyelids
  • Tears

When will this require medical attention?

  • If the person gets eye pain and feels the presence of some foreign object in the eye or experiences blurred vision, then immediately he should visit a doctor.
  • If a person is used to wearing contact lenses, he must stop wearing them when he senses an eye infection. If the symptoms don’t subside within a day, immediately visit the doctor.
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What Causes Pink Eyes?

Before we know: how long is pink eye contagious, we will learn what causes the infection.

  1. Viruses
  2. Bacteria
  3. Allergies
  4. A chemical splash in the eye
  5. A foreign object in the eye
  6. In newborns, a blocked tear duct

how long is pink eye contagious

Which virus or bacteria causes the infection?

Viruses such as adenovirus, herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and also COVID 19 virus can cause the infection.

The virus and bacteria cause conjunctivitis, which can be respiratory infection symptoms like a sore throat. If a person wears unclean contact lenses, this may cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

The infections are very contagious and can easily spread directly or indirectly from the liquid that oozes out of the infected eye.

Allergic conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, which starts due to an allergen like pollen, is called Allergic conjunctivitis. IgE immunoglobulin antibody is produced in the presence of an allergen, which makes the mast cells of the eyes and airways release histamines as a response to the allergen. Due to this, the sign is produced, which is red eyes.

Allergic conjunctivitis shows the symptoms of itching, production of tears, sneezing, and watery nasal discharge. Eye drops can reduce this.

Conjunctivitis resulting from irritation

The presence of a foreign object in the eye can cause conjunctivitis, which can be washed out by flushing and cleaning the eye so that the chemical or object can be removed. If the flushing doesn’t resolve the symptoms, you should visit the doctor immediately. Chemicals can cause permanent damage to the eye. If any foreign object is present in the eye, it can scratch over the cornea or sclera.

Risky things causing the pink eye

  • Due to allergen, infection due to virus or bacteria
  • Use extended wear contact lenses

Keep reading the article to know the complications, treatment, and how long is pink eye contagious.

The complications in pink eye

 The cornea is inflamed due to pink eye. Treatment by a doctor is very important, especially if something is present in the eye. 

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how long is pink eye contagious

Hygiene can be maintained by doing the following:

 Maintaining hygiene can definitely control the spread of conjunctivitis.

  • Avoid touching eyes with hands
  • Washing hands regularly
  • A clean towel should be used
  • Sharing of towels to be avoided
  • Pillowcases to be changed regularly
  • Do not use mascara or eye cosmetics, and avoid sharing them.

How contagious is pink eye?

Depending on how contagious the pink eye is and how the pink eye was caused, we can understand how long it is pink eye contagious. Pink eye is a bit contagious. You can go to school or child care, but practicing good hygiene will prevent it from spreading.

Pink eye in newborns – how to prevent it

Sometimes, the newborns develop serious kinds of conjunctivitis caused due to the bacteria present in the mother’s birth canal. The treatment should be done as soon as possible to preserve sight. The ointment is applied to the newborn’s eyes right after birth to prevent eye infection.

How long is pink eye contagious?

The answer to the question of how long is pink eye contagious is here. Mostly conjunctivitis subsides in one or two weeks. As pink eyes spread quickly at school, it’s better to know how to prevent them from spreading to other children in school.

If your eyes are painful, sensitive to light, prolonged for a week or more, producing pus, etc., you need to rush to the doctor immediately.

How to treat pink eye at home?

Now that you know how long is pink eye contagious, you need to learn how to treat it using simple home remedies. If a virus or bacteria causes the pinkeye, it becomes very uncomfortable. It usually heals on its own. The bacterial pink eye produces more pus than viral pink eye. It requires antibiotics from the doctor in order to treat it.

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Home remedies

To relieve the symptoms of a viral and bacterial pink eye, the following remedies can be followed:

  • Ibuprofen and eye drops can be taken over the counter.
  • Apply a warm compress with a warm damp washcloth and keep it over the eyes.
  • Wash the cloth and do not reuse the same cloth.
  • The eyes sticking due to mucus can be cleaned with a washcloth. The mucus which is dried up is difficult to remove. It can be cleaned with a damp, warm cloth without hurting.

Can you use breast milk for pink eye?

After knowing how long is pink eye contagious. It is not advisable to use breastmilk for the pink eye because it can introduce new bacteria into the eye and causes serious infection. Eye infections in children need doctors’ attention as they may even be blinding.


Do not use anything advised by people or the internet for the treatment of the pink eye. Food or herbal extracts that are unsterilized can introduce new bacteria and worsen conditions. A medical practitioner will treat in a hygienic way that relieves the pink eye condition.