How to Prevent Spread of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is an eye condition that causes swelling and redness of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and the eye surface. Symptoms include itching, blurred vision, swelling, redness, tearing, transparent and slightly thickened secretions. It is a very common disorder and typically benign and resolves spontaneously within 7-10 days. However, viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious.
Change personal hygiene
1) Wash your hands often.
Bad personal hygiene, especially with regard to the hands, is the first cause of a rapid spread of conjunctivitis.
Wash it very often, especially after touching your eyes, your face and after having instilled the eye drops. Always use warm water and soap; if this is not possible, entrusted to a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
First, wash your hands with running water (hot or cold) and then close the tap.
Rub your hands with the soap without neglecting the backs, the spaces between the fingers and under the nails.
Continue to rub them for at least 20 seconds. If you have difficulty evaluating the passage of time, try to hum twice “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end.
Rinse your hands with running water and dry them with a clean cloth or paper towel.
2) Wash ocular secretions several times a day.
The liquid leaking from the eye may drip and spread the infection, so remember to clean the eye area several times a day. Use a wad of cotton wool, a paper towel or a damp towel. Rub the eye from the inner song to the outer one, using a clean piece of cloth or swab with each pass. In the end, throw away the wadding or wash the cloth thoroughly using laundry soap and warm water.
3) Remove or wash items that come into contact with eyes carefully.
When the virus has been eradicated, you must avoid getting infected again. For this purpose, you must throw or clean everything that came in contact with the eyes during or shortly before the outbreak of conjunctivitis.
Get rid of eye makeup like mascara and eyeshadow. During the infection, it is better not to use the tricks.
Eliminate the contact lens solution you used shortly before and during symptom relief.
You should also throw disposable contact lenses. If you use the annual ones or longer, you should clean them as indicated on their packaging. In any case, during conjunctivitis, you should not wear them.
Clean the glasses you put during the outburst. 15 April 2018
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Take House Precautions
4) Wash the sheets and pillowcases.
The secretions that come out of the eye during conjunctivitis are transferred to towels, pillowcases, sheets and clothes. All this laundry should be washed every day during the period of infection. Use warm water and laundry detergent and do not forget to wash your hands after handling these items.
5) Do not share some items with other family members.
In general, anything that comes into close contact with your eyes or those of a family member should not be shared during an outpouring of conjunctivitis. In detail:
Tools for contact lenses such as containers and solutions;
Towels, napkins and pillowcases;
Eye drops (however, if you have a small child, you must help him to properly instal his drops.) Wash your hands thoroughly before and after application and wear gloves during the process);
Every kind of eye makeup;
Eyeglasses and sunglasses.
6) Do not rub your eyes.
You may be very tempted to find some relief from itching by rubbing it, but know that you should not do it. This action, at most, interrupts the itchy sensation for a few moments, but at the same time spreads the eye secretions on the face, hands and nearby objects increasing the risk of contagion for those close to you.
To alleviate the symptoms, a damp cloth on the diseased eye is much more effective. You can use both hot and cold water, depending on what makes you feel better. At the end of the pack, remember to throw away the cloth or wash it with warm water and soap.
7) Clean the domestic surfaces.
Wash the kitchen counter, the sinks, the bathroom furniture and even the shared phones using an antiseptic cleaner. These surfaces often come into contact with your hands and may have traces of secretions and tears of the diseased eye, which in turn contribute to spreading conjunctivitis. Clean these objects often during the infection as soon as it is resolved. Also, when you go back to school or work, disinfect your desk, keyboard, desk and areas that have come into contact with your eyes while you were ill.
Take Care of the Eyes
8) Protect your eyes.
These organs are extremely delicate, especially during conjunctivitis, and need special care.
During windy, hot or cold days, wear a protection to prevent irritation. This could be a mask, a pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses. Remember that these objects must be thoroughly washed after use and once conjunctivitis is eradicated.
If you work with chemicals, always wear goggles. Although this is a good habit in general, it becomes crucial during a vent of conjunctivitis, because it prevents foreign bodies from entering the eyes.
9) Do not swim in the pool.
You should not go there when you have an eye infection. The bacteria spread easily in the water; if you are forced to stay in the pool for any reason, wear specific goggles and remove contact lenses before diving into the water.
10) Take antibiotics, smear ophthalmic ointments and instil the eye drops that have been prescribed by your doctor.
Take the drugs just as you were told by the ophthalmologist, even if the symptoms have disappeared. If you are instilling eye drops, keep the tip of the vial clean and never place it on the eye or eyelids.
11) Only wear glasses.
During an episode of conjunctivitis, you should not use contact lenses. Limited to the glasses until the symptoms have disappeared and remember to wash the contact lenses carefully before returning to wear them. The contact lens solution also changes because it will likely be contaminated. If you wear disposable lenses, it is better to err on the side of precaution and wear a new pair.
Go back to school or work
12) Learn about the duration of the period of contagion.
There are two different types of contagious conjunctivitis: viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. The duration of the disorder depends on its nature. If you know the type of infection that has struck you, you’ll know how long you need to be cautious and take every precaution to prevent the spread of the pathogen.
Viral conjunctivitis is caused by the same virus as the common cold. It usually causes a very watery mucous eye secretion. The symptoms improve within 3-5 days and, in principle, no medicines are needed.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterium and the symptoms are hyperaemia and the presence of pus. The ophthalmologist usually prescribes antibiotics to be taken for 24 hours. Symptoms resolve within a short time and an individual is no longer contagious after the medication cycle.
13) Stay home until the disease has been eradicated.
If possible, avoid going to school or work until you have recovered, since bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is very contagious. In general, the person can transmit the infection until there are abundant tearing and ocular secretions. All this should disappear in 3-7 days.
14) Take precautions when you get back to work or school.
If you wait until all the symptoms are gone, then you should not be contagious when you return to school or work; however, you should avoid getting infected again.
Do not share eye makeup, sunglasses, handkerchiefs and any other objects that come into contact with your eyes or those of your classmates or colleagues.
Tell other people you have had conjunctivitis, so they can take precautions and avoid getting sick.