“Pink Eye” – Conjunctivitis
Pink Eye is inflammation and infection of the lining of the eye lid and extends over the sclera (the white part of the eye). The inflammation causes redness, tearing, and occasionally formation of pus. There are several typed of Pink Eye, bacterial, viral and allergic. An actual diagnosis should be made by your family doctor.
Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are very contagious. The student will need to be picked up from school and referred to a physician for treatment. Allergic conjunctivitis is usually associated with nasal allergy and rarely causes any pus in the inner corner of the eye.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is the cause of about 55 to 65 percent of cases of Pink Eye with incubation period of only three to five days.
Treatment usually consists of prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments, and most cases heal very quickly. Viral conjunctivitis has no treatment and will usually heal in a few days on its own. Allergic conjunctivitis can be relieved, not cured, by certain non-antibiotic eye drops.
When students are sent home for infectious bacterial Pink Eye, it will be necessary for the parents to obtain antibiotic therapy and to keep the student home for at least 24 hours after treatment has begun. The school nurse can help to medicate students when necessary during school hours. It is very important to wash your hands after touching the eye area. Towels, makeup, washcloths or eye drops should not be shared.