Now that you know how to safely treat your pink eye, how do you prevent it from happening again? Below are several helpful tips that can help prevent pink eye from returning:
✓ Don’t Share Personal Items
✓ Do not share personal hygiene items such as your towels, handkerchiefs or tissues. If someone uses one of them, wash it in warm water then get a new one instead.
In a similar manner, don’t share eye makeup, because bacteria may latch onto the items and infect your eye the next time you use them.
✓ Observe Proper Sneezing Etiquette
✓ Sneezing without covering your mouth and nose is the fastest way to spread viruses to those who are closest to you. When sneezing, always use a handkerchief or tissue and put it away immediately.
Sneezing into your elbow is also an effective alternative if you forgot to bring a handkerchief. This prevents sneeze droplets that contain viruses from getting on your hands, which can spread easily to the things you touch throughout your day.
It may also prevent the droplets from reaching your eyes.
✓ Wear Contact Lenses Properly
✓ If you use contact lenses, be sure to properly follow the instructions set by your doctor. This can help prevent you from getting giant papillary conjunctivitis.
If irritation does occur, return to your doctor immediately, as you may need to change your contact lenses to lessen the irritation.
✓ Wear Protective Eyewear When Swimming
✓ If you’re going out for a fun day with your friends at a public swimming pool or park, it’s important to bring goggles with you. They can help prevent bacteria or viruses in the water from entering your eyes.
Conversely, if you have an ongoing case of pink eye, cough or flu, don’t jump into the water to prevent spreading the disease to others.
✓ Change Pillowcases Often
✓ As comfy as your pillows are, there’s a possibility that they harbor bacteria or viruses, which can reach your eyes while sleeping.
To prevent pink eye, you should change and wash your pillowcases often with warm water. The same goes for bed sheets, towels and other fabrics that touch your face often.
✓ Wash Your Hands Regularly
✓ Regularly washing your hands is a habit that you must practice, especially if you take public transportation to get to work or school, or go to high-traffic public areas frequently.
This practice cannot be emphasized enough, especially if you have a habit of touching or scratching your eyes every now and then. You may not know that your hands have already touched an infected item or surface.
Preventing Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Neonatal conjunctivitis is, quite simply, pink eye in newborn children. This condition may occur due to bacteria being passed on to the baby as they exit the birth canal. To prevent this from happening, an infant-friendly form of ointment is applied to your child’s eyes to get rid of possible bacteria.
If the bacterial infection is persistent and manages to spread, your baby may develop red, tender eyes with some discharge visible a few days after childbirth. When this happens, return to the hospital immediately to have them treated. If you don’t act quickly, the symptoms may permanently damage your child’s vision.