Pink eye, which doctors call conjunctivitis, is inflammation and redness in the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the transparent membrane that lines the front of the eye and eyelids.
Pink eye is more common among toddlers and young children, who may rub their eyes and transmit infections to other children at preschool, daycare, or on the playground.
Infections, allergies, and irritants, such as sand or chemicals, can cause pink eye. However, viral and bacterial infections are the culprits in
Pink eye usually clears up by itself, but some people require treatment. Other conditions may mimic symptoms of pink eye, so anyone experiencing persistent or bothersome eye irritation should consider seeing a doctor for advice and diagnosis.
Symptoms of pink eye include:
- dry, itchy, red eyes
- watery eyes
- frequent blinking
- a feeling of something stuck in the eye
- light sensitivity
- puffy eyelids
- discharge from red, irritated-looking eyes
In some cases, pink eye can be painful.
Sometimes, toddlers cannot express their symptoms clearly, so parents and carers should check whether the child is:
- avoiding bright lights
- frequently covering their eyes
- rubbing their eyes
- crying often or having more tantrums
- having trouble concentrating
Pink eye is contagious when a
Parents and carers of toddlers with pink eye should assume the child is contagious and keep them home from daycare or school, particularly if they have a fever or are not feeling well. Some doctors, as well as some schools and daycares, recommend that children stay home until their pink eye symptoms have resolved.
In most cases, pink eye due to infection remains contagious for as long as a person still has symptoms. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), bacterial pink eye usually lasts about 5 to 10 days and often clears up faster with antibiotics. Viral pink eye can last as long as 14 days, though it usually improves much sooner. Viral pink eye will not respond to antibiotics.
It is possible, though not common, for viral, allergic, and irritant-related pink eye to give rise to a bacterial infection. This happens when a toddler rubs their eyes with dirty hands, transferring bacteria to the eye.
A doctor can usually diagnose pink eye based on a child’s symptoms but may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause. The doctor may ask questions about the toddler’s recent health history, whether the child wears glasses, and whether anyone else in the family or at school has pink eye.
Pink eye may look different depending on its cause. According to the AAO, allergic conjunctivitis usually causes very red, watery eyes and swollen eyelids. Bacterial pink eye may cause a sticky white or yellow discharge from the eye. Viral pink eye causes very red eyes and a watery discharge.
If a person has frequent pink eye infections or does not respond to treatment, a doctor may take a sample from the eye to send to a lab for analysis. This provides information about whether a virus, bacteria, or allergen caused pink eye and how best to treat it.
According to the
No matter what type of pink eye a toddler has, home treatment can help ease the pain. People can try the following steps:
- Ask a doctor about using over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
- Use artificial tears or other eye drops to ease pain, but consult a doctor about the right type of drops.
- Apply a cool compress to the eye. If cold compresses do not help, try warm compresses instead.
- Encourage the toddler to rub their eye only with a cool, clean washcloth, not with their hands.
Some toddlers get pink eye repeatedly. This is not unusual, as children in school, daycare, and other community settings are more vulnerable to repeat infections.
Some pink eye bacteria may be resistant to treatment. A doctor may need to take a culture to see which type of germ is causing the infection.
In some cases, repeat infections signal an underlying problem.
Other causes of pink eye
Meibomitis is inflammation of the meibomian glands, which line the eyelid behind the eyelashes. When these glands become irritated, this can cause eyelid irritation that increases the risk of pink eye. This is uncommon in toddlers.
Blepharitis is another condition that causes chronic eyelid inflammation and irritation. The AOO note that the eyelids may look flaky, dry, or swollen. People with blepharitis may struggle with frequent pink eye. Treating the blepharitis may help.
The trachoma infection, which is a type of chlamydia, may also cause chronic eye irritation and pink eye. Babies may contract this infection when they pass through the birth canal, and symptoms may appear in toddlerhood.
Trachoma is treatable but is also one of the world’s leading causes of blindness. Though widespread throughout some parts of the world, trachoma is now rare in the United States.
Carers should not assume that chronic eye redness is viral pink eye. It is best to see your child’s pediatrician and, if necessary, a pediatric ophthalmologist to get a comprehensive evaluation and accurate diagnosis.
Pink eye can spread through an entire daycare center or preschool. In some cases, a toddler may spread the infection to friends, who then transmit it back to the toddler.
Simple prevention strategies can reduce the spread of the infection and lower the risk of recurrent pink eye:
- Encourage toddlers to avoid touching or rubbing their eyes.
- Keep children with fever or thick eye discharge home from school.
- Do not share eye care products such as contacts, glasses, or eye makeup. Encourage children not to share these products.
- Practice frequent hand washing.
- Encourage children not to touch their friends’ faces.
Pink eye is usually a temporary condition and not a sign of a serious eye health issue. Many children develop pink eye, and most recover within a week or two.
When symptoms are severe or pink eye does not go away by itself, see a doctor. Prompt treatment can cure or prevent serious eye health issues.
Stressed Students, Bridesmaids Drama, And More: An Advice Column From A Total Amateur
Hi! A while ago I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me a problem they’re having, so that I — a person with absolutely zero professional qualifications to help anyone — could give them advice. So, here are the results! NBC 1. “Dear Andy,I have NO idea where I should go to school… I’m applying…
Hi! A while ago I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me a problem they’re having, so that I — a person with absolutely zero professional qualifications to help anyone — could give them advice. So, here are the results!
I have NO idea where I should go to school… I’m applying to 12 schools, 10 on the west coast and two in BC. I’m a high achieving student (I’m in five AP classes, president of two clubs, volunteering and a job, etc.) and I don’t want to go somewhere that’s all about the pressure, but I still want a high quality education. I’m so lost, help!”
—The Overwhelmed Student
You posted this just to dunk on all of us academically, didn’t you?
Kidding. In all seriousness, you can get a very good education at a bunch of different schools. And when you’re done, you’ll have a degree that probably nobody will ever verify! In my completely amateur opinion, the only reason people think the “Ivy League” schools are better is because a lot of wealthy, well-connected people go there (and have gone there), and therefore when you graduate from one, you’re more likely to get in at some fancy law firm or whatever because of your connections. So if you aren’t planning on being like, IDK, the CFO of Waystar Royco or something, just pick the school that you really want to go to. Where are you going to be happy living? Is one of the schools in a city you already want to move to and/or the city that has jobs in your future profession? Is it important for you to be close to home? How many Wendy’s are there on campus, and do they carry Spicy Nuggets? These are the questions you should be asking.
Oh, wait, actually…forget all that. Go to the school that will cost the least when you factor in tuition, room & board, and any scholarships you might get. Student loans are a curse and you want as little of them as possible. In the end, you might not even end up doing the thing you studied in college. Wanna know what degree I have? A BFA in Theater Performance. An acting degree. And now here I am, writing for a website. You’ll be fine.
I got married this summer, and I decided to choose only family to be my bridesmaids. For me this included three female cousins and my (now) sister-in-law. My husband, on the other hand, decided to do a mix of family as well as friends from high school for his groomsmen. I had no problem with this at all.
I had a few friends who I knew would expect to be bridesmaids, so I made it clear to them from the very beginning that I would be choosing family only as to not have a huge wedding party, but I told them they were not any less important to me and that I still wanted them to be involved in the wedding as much as they felt comfortable with. Most of the friends I had this conversation with were very understanding, however one straight up told me that she was disappointed (this was two years before the wedding).
Now it’s been a few months since I got married and this friend (a friend from childhood) started talking about the wedding. She told me she felt left out of the wedding since she wasn’t part of the wedding party. It particularly bothered her that my husband included friends and I didn’t. She then proceeded to tell me that it was difficult for her to be there the day of my wedding because of these feelings. AT MY WEDDING. She also included the fact that she didn’t want to upset me and that it doesn’t change our friendship. But if that is the case then why say anything in the first place? I’ve already said one too many times the reason for my bridesmaid choices and how important she is to me regardless. And she says she understands. I just wish she would let it go. Ever since this conversation I feel like I’ve been seeing her in a whole new light.
I do care about her feelings, but I stick by my decision and I don’t regret anything. I feel like I’ve done everything I can to make her feel better.”
—The Besieged Bride
[TL;DR: Bride had only family as bridesmaids, groom had some friends in the mix, bride’s childhood friend felt left out and complained about it a few months after the wedding.]
Question one: How drunk was your friend when she brought this up to you? If she was like, a 6 or more out of 10, I say let’s give it a pass and hope she got it out of her system.
Question two: Has your friend had a wedding of her own yet? If yes, then she should’ve understood the situation, because wedding planning is a special kind of hell and inevitably you have to make difficult decisions like this one that might hurt people’s feelings. So if you’ve planned your own wedding, you know the deal and you’re able to say to yourself, “It’s their wedding, I’m just going to be supportive and have fun.” If she hasn’t gotten married yet, she’ll realize later that it was totally inappropriate to complain about this to you. Hopefully.
I have been taking so many of the relationship quizzes on BuzzFeed but they all say I’m single. The major problem is I have an S.O. Is she just faking or am I?? Help me!! Is my girlfriend not actually mine or are we real?”
—The Quizzical Quiz-Taker
You’re not real. This is all a simulation.
—Andy (or am I?)
I’m not sure where to live. I live in Milwaukee, WI, right now. Moved here three years ago for school, but that fell through because Milwaukee is friggin expensive. My family wants me to move back to the other side of the state, towards Minneapolis/St. Paul. What should I do?”
—Meandering the Midwest
Get the fuck out of there, it’s so cold! Listen, I used to live in Michigan, and it was depressing because it was grey and miserable nine months out of the year. Now I live in Southern California, it’s sunny and beautiful and my vitamin D levels are through the roof. Migrate south, seriously.
But if you HAVE to stay, I will say that everybody who lives in Minneapolis seems to LOVE Minneapolis for some reason.
My problem is that I struggle with feeling attractive. I started taking birth control when my boyfriend and I started dating (six years ago). I started gaining the weight right after. I’m now a size 12 and my boyfriend is a slender guy. I haven’t felt attractive in the last year. I gained so much weight at one point I was a size 16. I’m back to a 12 and trying to lose weight again. I don’t feel sexy or beautiful in any way. I prefer to keep my shirt on during sex now. I don’t know why my boyfriend still finds me attractive. I have a tummy, I have rolls when I sit down, I just don’t know what he sees anymore. Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated.”
—Struggling With Size
First off, don’t worry about your boyfriend. Clearly he finds you attractive, and when you actually care about someone, the size tags on their clothes don’t matter to you at all. Appreciate that fact and find some security there.
Now, consider the possibility that if your boyfriend finds you attractive at any size, you can too! It’s not easy. It requires shedding every bit of toxic influence that the media and our society overall has thrown at you for your entire life. That takes time and work.
But if you are worried about your physical health at all, consult a doctor. There are many different types of birth control and like 40 different pills, and everyone reacts to each one differently. It can take time to find the right one, and not every doctor is going to be helpful about it. Advocate for yourself if you’re unhappy with your medication. You may have done all of this already and I’m just sitting here mansplaining BC to you, but if so at least you can cross that off your Mansplaining Bingo Card.
That’s it for this week. But if you’re having a problem that you need advice about, let me know! It could be anything: petty arguments that you need a judge to decide who was right and who was wrong, help making life decisions, relationship issues — I’m your completely unqualified man. Email firstname.lastname@example.org (for total anonymity) or leave a comment here!