The 9 Most Common Myths About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Debunked

by Kara Sherwood Digital & Content Marketing
Have you ever experienced redness and itching in one of your eyes and worried, "It's the pink eye!"? You are not alone.

Pink eye is another name for conjunctivitis. It happens when the thin, clear layer that covers the eye and eyelid gets infected or inflamed.

It might be short-lived, lasting only a week or two, or it can be long-lasting, affecting a person for three to five weeks. Conjunctivitis can lead to serious problems if left untreated.

There are a lot of myths and stories about the pink eye that have been around for a long time. You may have heard some of them, and now you're not sure what's true and what's not. 

Using scientific evidence, this article will clear up nine common myths about pink eye.

If you are showing all the signs of conjunctivitis, it's a good idea to talk to a doctor. You can schedule an online doctor's appointment or get an online medical certificate in Australia if you need a day off from school or work due to your condition.

Let's take a closer look at each myth individually:

Myth # 1: Pink eye can be avoided by not rubbing your eyes

Conjunctivitis can be caused by touching your eye with unwashed hands. Contact lenses, cosmetics, and lotions that haven't been thoroughly cleansed can spread bacteria to the eye, and the same goes for the nozzle of an eye dropper used on an infected eye. 

It is possible to catch viral from being around someone who has a cold or other upper-respiratory infection and is coughing and sneezing. Conjunctivitis can also be brought on by contact with allergens like dust mites and animal dander or irritants like pollutants and chemicals.

Myth # 2: You must remain at home until it disappears

Depending on what caused your pink eye, you may or may not need to avoid close contact with people until the infection has cleared up. Those with pink eye due to allergies or a virus can return to work or school as usual once the reason has been determined (though they may choose to stay home).
After starting antibiotic treatment, those with bacterial pink eye should rest at home for at least 24 hours. After that, they should be able to get back to business as usual.

Myth # 3: Looking at a person who has pink eye can give you the disease

Pink eye cannot be spread by direct eye contact. The virus can spread when someone touches contaminated surfaces or comes in physical contact with an infected person. To prevent the spread of pink eye, practising good hygiene and avoiding close physical contact with someone with it is important.

Myth # 4: Pink eye is not harmful, and it will disappear by itself

Pink eye usually goes away on its own and is not serious. However, if you don't treat it, it can sometimes cause problems. If you have bacterial conjunctivitis, it can harm your cornea. If you don't treat allergic conjunctivitis, it can cause long-term eye inflammation. If you think you have pink eye, talking to a healthcare professional is important.

Myth # 5: Pink eye is a condition that only affects children

Pink eye is a common condition in children but can also affect adults. The incidence of conjunctivitis in Australia and New Zealand was estimated to be at least 1.5 cases per one million people.

There are several causes explaining the high prevalence of the illness in youngsters. Kids (particularly the younger ones) are more prone to rubbing their eyes and not washing their hands correctly, which can spread the contagious pink eye virus. Infectious conjunctivitis can spread quickly in tight quarters with other kids, like in a classroom or daycare.

Myth # 6: Only antibiotics are capable of curing pink eye

Antibiotics work well for bacterial conjunctivitis, but they don't work for other types of pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis usually goes away by itself in one to two weeks. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms. To manage allergic conjunctivitis, you can take allergy medications and avoid things that trigger your allergies. For irritant conjunctivitis, you need to remove the irritant and avoid being exposed to it again.

The CDC says that antibiotics work for bacterial conjunctivitis, but they're not needed for other types of pink eye.

Myth # 7: Pink eye is a sign of poor hygiene

Pink eye can spread due to poor hygiene, but it's not the only cause. Pink eye can be caused by allergies or irritants, which have nothing to do with hygiene. Keeping good hygiene can prevent the spread of contagious pink eye.

To prevent contagious pink eye, the CDC recommends proper handwashing and hygiene.
Myth # 8: Pink eye can cause blindness

Conjunctivitis is usually a mild eye infection. It will not cause irreversible eyesight loss or blindness. However, your sight is a priceless gift; thus, caring for it is crucial. It is recommended to stay on the side of caution when dealing with eye problems like conjunctivitis and get checked out. If an infection isn't treated immediately, it might spread and cause more complications.

Myth # 9: You can't catch conjunctivitis again after you've had it once

One case of pink eye does not provide immunity against subsequent infections. Bacteria and viruses can cause infectious conjunctivitis at any time. You may prevent eye infections by avoiding rubbing your eyes, washing your hands frequently, not sharing personal items like towels and cosmetics, and keeping your eyewear clean.


Getting the correct information about pink eye and talking to a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment is important. If you think you have pink eye, you can also book an online doctor’s appointment.

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About Kara Sherwood Advanced   Digital & Content Marketing

45 connections, 3 recommendations, 128 honor points.
Joined APSense since, November 16th, 2022, From Brisbane, Australia.

Created on Jul 20th 2023 07:23. Viewed 175 times.


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