How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious After Medication?
Ah pinkeye, as contagious as lice, but without the parasitic buddies. Pink eye is responsible for loads of sick days every year from the elementary school to the high rise office. But why is it so contagious? This ailment is contagious for a number of reasons. One is because for some reason, we touch our eyes all day. Whether it is to remove a rogue section of hair, or to rub a sleepy pair of peepers, or to gently remove an independent eyelash, we can’t seem to get enough of touching our eyeballs. Additionally, the pink eye incubation period is long enough to ensure that we are almost guaranteed to infect all of our loved ones, coworkers, and random people that we nonchalantly greet with a friendly handshake. So how long is pink eye contagious?
Without medication, the pink eye contagious period runs from the time symptoms become apparent to the time that discharge departs. This is going to greatly vary from person to person. This is where medication comes in. Medication, when used on the proper type of course, can ensure that you will almost always be a non-spreader 24 hours after taking your first dose of medication. Can this vary? Sure, a little. Is your immune system not up to par? Your pink eye contagious period may be a little bit longer. Did you follow your directions with your antibiotic? No? Well, you may want to use an extra sick day.
If you’re asking how long is pink eye contagious in order to determine when to return to work, it’s best to use common sense. Follow your medication instructions, be aware of your symptoms, and if you still can’t open your eyes after 24 hours, you probably won’t be able to see what you’re working on anyways. If you are asking how long is pink eye contagious because you have small children in the home, better safe than sorry. It’s not the chicken pox, and you’re not safe after the first dose. Even though your medication should prove tried and true after 24 hours, use caution. Throw away your tissues and wipes that you use for cleaning your eyes. Quickly launder any cloths you are using for cleaning, and make sure that your compresses for home treatment are not being used by others (sorry about your swollen ankle Johnny.)
Pink eye is very contagious, but following your doctor’s instructions and your medication’s instructions will greatly inhibit your ability to spread it. Your personal habits including rigorous hand washing, waving instead of shaking, and keeping your hands off your eyeballs will also greatly help reduce the possibility of you spreading your infection.