How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?

As a new school year approaches, kids everywhere are happy to reunite with classmates they haven’t seen all summer. But with a new school year also comes the passing of germs, viruses, and bacteria that cause a wide range of infections and conditions.

One contagious infection that is common amongst school children is conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye.

How Long is Conjunctivitis Contagious?

Contagious Pink Eye AppearanceOnce symptoms of pink eye appear, the infection can be contagious for three days to several weeks. Children should not return to school until all signs of the infection are gone, including the pink color and discharge.

Pink eye is usually spread through direct contact with an infected person’s secretions, especially through hand-to-eye contact. “Children are more susceptible to getting pink eye from bacteria or viruses because they are in close contact with so many others in school or day care centers and because they don’t practice good hygiene,” according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

What Causes Pink Eye?

Pink eye is a common eye condition that affects children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.”

Pink eye has several causes, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Irritants that irritate the eyelid lining
  • Allergens

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye?

Pink eye has several symptoms, including:

  • White, green, or yellow discharge
  • Redness or swelling of the eyelids
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Crusting of the eyelids
  • Eye watering
  • Itchy, burning, or irritated eyes

Visit a Medical Professional to Treat Pink Eye

Treatment for Contagious Pink Eye at FastMedIf your child develops any of the symptoms listed above, call his or her healthcare provider immediately. In most cases, pink eye can be treated with eye drops or ointments that help prevent the spread of infection and help control the pain and swelling.

FastMed Urgent Care has clinics throughout North Carolina, Arizona, and Texas that are open late, on weekends and on some holidays. At FastMed Urgent Care, our mission is to positively impact the lives of our patients and their families.

We offer a special Discount Program to help make your child’s healthcare more affordable. If he or she is showing signs of pink eye, simply come in to a FastMed Urgent Care for treatment that is both fast and compassionate.


All About Vision:

The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.