Algoma Public Health
What is it?
- A bacterial infection of the eye.
What are the symptoms?
- Itchy irritated eyes.
- Whites of the eyes turn pink.
- Pus discharge from eyes. Eyes are often “glued shut” after sleeping.
How quickly do symptoms develop?
- Within 1 to 3 days after coming in contact with the infection.
How is it spread?
- Contact with discharges from the eye or upper respiratory tracts of infected people.
- Contaminating fingers with eye or throat discharges from an infected person and then touching your eyes.
- Indirectly through contaminated clothing, face cloths and towels or sharing eye-make up or eye medications
How long is it contagious?
- As long as the eyes have discharge.
- Children with pink eye should not attend school/daycare until 24 hours after antibiotic has been started and the discharge has stopped.
How is it treated?
- With an antibiotic.
- Sometimes the doctor will order an oral antibiotic as well as an antibiotic eye drop or ointment.
What can you do?
- Do not share your face cloths or towels.
- Wash your hands after touching or wiping your eyes.
- Discard Kleenex soiled with eye or nose discharge into garbage container.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: Feb 25, 2016