ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How long does pink eye last?

Updated on March 24, 2014

Medically referred to as conjunctivitis, pink eye is an ocular condition caused due to a viral or bacterial infection and characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, i.e., the outermost part of the eye. Even though pink eye is a harmless condition, patients typically experience a lot of discomfort and are usually unable to efficiently follow their daily routine. All patients must seek medical attention to treat the condition.

The incubation period of pink eye

An incubation period refers to the timeframe occurring between commencement of the infection and the eventual occurrence of symptoms. For pink eye, it is dependent on the causes, type, and accompanying symptoms.

Pink eye is not contagious during the incubation period. The period can vary between 12 hours to three days in case of viral infections, while it is usually falls between 1 to 3 days during bacterial infections.The incubation timeframe tends to differ from two days to two weeks as per varied situations.

Pink eye caused due to infection by bacteria becomes contagious as soon as the symptoms appear. It will continue spreading for up to 24 hours after taking medicines. Viral infections can remain contagious for nearly 14 days after the first symptoms appear.

Symptoms of pink eye

Some of the common signs and symptoms of pink eye are listed below:

  • Increased tearing
  • Burning sensationsand itchiness
  • Irritating, watery eyes
  • The eyelids may be stuck together on waking
  • Gritty or sandy sensation in the eye
  • Discharge of greenish or yellow fluid from the eyes

How long does pink eye last after seeking medical treatment?

As per the type of pink eye causes, the durations for which pink eye lasts with treatment are listed below:

  • Allergic pink eye: Application of moist and cold washcloths on the affected eye helps in alleviation of discomfort. Patients can also get instant relief via use of OTC eye drops. The conditions begins easing after treatment by a doctor, or post removal of the allergen. In some instances, it may persist for a day or two. Persistent cases may require treatment with stronger drugs.

  • Bacterial pink eye: Eye drops and antibiotics are prescribed to treat pink eye caused by bacterial infections. After the commencement of antibiotic therapy, irritation, redness, ocular discharge, and other accompanying symptoms may alleviate. The overall condition will also show marked improvement within 24 to 48 hours. It is important to finish the full dosage of antibiotics, even if the infection resolves within 1 or 2 days. This is because the remaining bacteria can later cause a new instance of pink eye which will again require antibiotic treatment.

  • Viral pink eye: Viral pink eye infections can be effectively controlled via varied home remedies such as allowing the eyes to rest for sufficient time, and maintaining personal hygiene to prevent it from spreading. The symptoms may show improvement after 2 to 3 days. However, before the symptoms improve, patients may experience an aggravation of the symptoms. Varied accompanying symptoms such increased tearing, ocular redness, and irritation in the eyes slowly ease up. Morning crusting however tends to persist for longer periods.Occasionally, patients may continue suffering for 4 days to a week, while in some others viral pink eye can last for nearly 3 weeks. However, in a majority of cases the condition persists for only a day or two and often does not need any specific type of medical care. Adults with viral pink eye can go back to work and affected children can avail of daycare facilities, after 3 to 5 days. In rare cases, pink eye can arise due to infection by the herpes virus. This can be treated with only anti-viral medications. It is very important for such patients to seek immediate medical attention.

Faster recovery from pink eye

Pink eye usually takes a long time to disappear without treatment, often a week or longer. Lack of medical treatment can also worsen the condition. Some untreated cases of pink eye can also persist for nearly 3 weeks, while some patients may continue to suffer from the symptoms even after 2 to 3 weeks of medical treatment.

Individuals who wear contact lenses, or those with a compromised immune system, or those with only one functioning eye have to take additional care to recover from pink eye. Use of contact lenses should be stopped till the condition fully disappears.

People suffering from any kind of pink eye need to immediately seek medical attention if they experience severe symptoms such as vision changes, photosensitivity, problems in opening or keeping the eye open, or extreme pain in the eye, etc.

People with pink eye should avoid touching the eyes even if they experience severe itchiness. It is important to wash the hands on a frequent basis, particularly after applying medicines. Towels, eye drops, and other personal items should not be shared with others. Used eye drops and tissues should be disposed in a proper manner.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)