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"How can I make sure that my son does not get pink eye?"

ZocdocAnswersHow can I make sure that my son does not get pink eye?


My husband has pink eye and I'm very nervous that our young son or even myself will get it too. How can we prevent it from spreading through the house? My son is only 5 and I'm worried about him.


Pink eye is another term for the condition conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation (often caused by an infection) of the conjunctiva. This is the thin, transparent outer lining of the eye. The vast majority of cases of conjunctivitis are caused by a virus. The common culprit viruses are usually the same types of viruses that cause the common cold. They are commonly spread through hand to hand contact. Thus, washing your hands frequently is the best method to preventing its spread from person to person. There is no treatment, other than lubricating eye drops for the symptoms. The other cause of conjunctivitis that is much less common is a bacterial infection. This is a much more serious infection that requires more immediate treatment with antibiotics. If you are worried that your son may have conjunctivitis, then I suggest that you schedule an appointment with his pediatrician. His doctor can examine his eye closely and determine what type of conjunctivitis it is. If there is any concern at all that it could be the bacterial version of the infection, then his doctor will give you a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. If his doctor is sure that it is the viral type, then some soothing lubricating eye drops are all that is needed. Good luck.

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