Pinkeye Health (cont.)

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Medical Treatment

Your ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops or ointment to reduce the swelling, redness, and discomfort and to help prevent spread of the infection and any permanent damage to your eye.

  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointments may be prescribed, as well as ocular decongestants, anti-allergy medicines, or anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics may be used if the eye infection is felt to be part of a body-wide disease.


Follow up with your ophthalmologist in two to three days to make sure the infection is improving with the medication prescribed.

  • Many children with pinkeye are not allowed to attend school until they receive clearance from their doctor. This is because of the likelihood that the virus will spread to other children.

  • Hospital workers with pinkeye who may come into contact with patients may be placed in another job until the infection is gone.

Pinkeye Prevention

Pinkeye can spread in areas where people live, work, and play closely together. If you are around someone with pinkeye, wash your hands thoroughly and often.

  • Day-care facilities and preschools will often not take a child with pinkeye to prevent infecting other children.

  • Laboratories where people share microscopes are also places where infection can spread.

  • People who share computer keyboards with others at work must be careful to wash their hands before they touch anywhere around their faces, especially during cold and flu season.

  • Bedding, towels, and personal items that come in contact with secretions should not be shared. Wash and change sheets and pillowcases every day.

  • Makeup should not be shared.

  • Eye drops should not be shared among individuals, since this may be the cause of spread of the infection.

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