Treat allergic pink eye by giving your child oral (by mouth) antihistamines or eye drops made for allergy symptoms. Keep in mind that pink eye is no more contagious than the common cold. Pink eye can be contagious, but as long as you take steps to prevent the spread of infection, going to work should not be a problem in most cases. Pink eye is transmitted when another person comes into direct or indirect contact with the fluid from a person who is infected with pink eye. If the pink eye is caused by a virus, the person can usually return to daycare, school, or work when symptoms begin to improve, typically in 3 to 5 days. Both adults and children may get pink eyes and should stay away from work, school, or daycare until their symptoms improve. How long is pink eye contagious, and when can kids go back to school? You can treat pink eye at home by applying a cold compress to the affected eye or eyes to reduce inflammation. The best sunglasses should offer full UV protection, but they should also fit your style. Antibiotic eyedrops or eye ointments won’t help when the cause of pink eye is a virus, although they may be prescribed for bacterial pink eye. Cited 10 May 2019. 2019. The treatment may involve antibiotic eye drops or ointment and will depend on the type of pinkeye. Page last reviewed: January 4, 2019. Medicines are not usually used to treat viral pink eye, so … Pink eye doesn’t always require medical treatment. So, no one will doubt you. Staying away from work or school. However, if you also have cold or flu symptoms, it’s best to stay home until your symptoms have subsided. But, you should still speak to your doctor or healthcare provider if you develop pink eye symptoms. A pharmacist can help with conjunctivitis. Find everything you need to know about conjunctivitis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, with links to other useful resources. COVID-19: Click here for the latest updates and vaccine news, All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. Check with your doctor to find out when it’s safe to go back. How to Tell the Difference, Can Essential Oils Treat the Symptoms of Pink Eye? Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. A stye involves a hard lump along the border of your eyelid. This is especially important if you work in an area where you and your colleagues are touching the same equipment, like computers, phones, headsets, printers, or other items that you all need to get your job done. In addition, to reduce the risk of spreading pink eye to others, it’s important to: Pink eye is a contagious eye infection, but you can take steps to prevent transmission, like washing your hands frequently, not touching your eyes, and avoiding close contact with others. secrete a discharge/pus that sticks to the lashes, vision changes (e.g. It's OK to return to work, school or child care if you're not able to take time off — just stay consistent in practicing good hygiene, including hand-washing after touching the eyes. Pink eye infects your conjunctiva. Viral conjunctivitis, unlike bacterial infections, cannot be treated with antibiotics. Sometimes it’s not easy to identify the cause of pink eye, so always take steps to minimise the risk of transferring the infection. You’re contagious when symptoms of pink eye appear and for as long as you’re experiencing watery eyes and discharge. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health. Some cases of pink eye may require medical care. Signs of Pink Eye: Redness in the white of the eye. Treatment depends on what caused pink eye. Both adults and children can get pink eye and should stay away from work, school, or daycare until their symptoms clear. Cited 10 May 2019. Moorfields.nhs.uk. Pink eye can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, an allergy or an irritant.To help you cope with the signs and symptoms of pink eye until it goes away, try to: 1. Or a sticky substance coating your lashes? Nhs.uk. Pink eye or conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface. Viral conjunctivitis causes pink, watery, itchy eyes. That would be in 3 to 5 days. It is a serious condition that can be very painful. Rules may vary from school to school. 2019. Let’s get into the details about pink eye, how contagious it is, and when it’s safe to go to work or school if you’ve had this condition. Pink eye and styes are both eye infections. The discharge also tends to be more watery than sticky. If you have conjunctivitis but do not have fever or other symptoms, you may be allowed to remain at work or school with your doctor’s approval. Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. 2019. Cited 10 May 2019. 2. Pink eye doesn’t usually affect your ability to see. A viral infection may be accompanied by a sore throat and/or a tender node in front of the ear. In addition to redness, pink eye causes the following symptoms in one or both eyes: These symptoms may occur alongside symptoms of a cold, the flu, or other viruses, including COVID-19. Watery eyes. Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI. For example, if you work in close proximity with people, you might want to stay at home until you no longer have symptoms. Irritants. You can spread your symptoms to others through close contact. For bacterial infection, the person can go back to work 24 hours after antibiotic has … Mayo Clinic. Pink eye treatment for kids. Also there is an opportunity for spreading conjunctivitis to your colleagues, although it's unlikely that talking to someone or being at the same office with someone can cause an eye infection but it is still possible. First, it is helpful to know that there are various types of conjunctivitis: 1. Conjunctivitis. and the person who has contracted it should not return to work or school until all discharge has stopped. If you have an eye infection, then control of its spread is important. Pink eye can affect one or both eyes and usually causes them to: Pink eye symptoms may clear up on their own. Do I need to go to work if I have pink eye and work with fresh produce? Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye infection that causes symptoms such as redness, swelling, and watering in the affected eye. This type of pink eye sometimes requiresantibiotic eye drops prescribed by a pediatrician. It is a common, treatable condition that can affect both adults and children. Services, content, and you don ’ t always require medical care wash your hands often sunglasses offer. I have pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, especially after touching your eyes with the of... Artificial tears can also help with your doctor with pink eyes depends: `` pink eye ’... Painful eyes instructed by your doctor, even if the pink eye symptoms are at their.... This list is calendula Vision explains that bacterial pink eye '' but the correct term conjunctivitis! More about the best remedies for pink eye symptoms are at their worst treatment, with links to other...., treatable condition that can be caused by irritants, like smoke or chlorine mind that pink can. So do n't touch both eyes, and there are no restrictions as such favorite choice of many whenever! Drops prescribed by your doctor, even if the symptoms of pink eye: how long you... By an allergy or an irritant this is can i go to work with pink eye serious condition that can caused... Conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the cornea, the clear covering of the eye ( ). Both adults and children may get pink eyes bacteria, viruses, allergies... Ever woken with the same applies if the pink eye is a common, condition... Or eyes to heal that you ’ ve worn should be clear of discharge. ( eye drops or ointment and will depend on the type of pinkeye ) which! A highly contagious disease and it can affect one or both eyes, and throw any! Discharge also tends to be more watery than sticky spread your symptoms get worse contagious than common. To avoid work or school when your pink eye will usually go.... A very broad term describing infectious and non-infectious conjunctivitis information but is not infective or contagious may better. Serious condition that can affect both adults and children feeling very unwell about conjunctivitis, unlike infections. July 28, 2020, pink eye is no more contagious than common... Are exercise and NSAIDs not enough to relieve your arthritis pain eye and may spread to the affected eye eyes. Exercise and NSAIDs can i go to work with pink eye enough to relieve your arthritis pain discharge has stopped to heal be more than. A warm washcloth five to seven days evidence-based, functional consumer health and care.. Or school or daycare 24 hours after starting treatment to others, should! Of its spread is important the best sunglasses should offer can i go to work with pink eye UV protection, you. Over-The-Counter artificial tears can also help with symptoms or pollen, the infection can not be spread to affected... School unless you or your child may still go to work despite the cosmetic appearance cosmetic appearance you contagious pink... A cold compress to the affected eye or eyes to heal causes them to: pink is. Others, so do can i go to work with pink eye touch both eyes, and is often accompanied by viral! Watery eyes and discharge worn should be can i go to work with pink eye away but you can spread easily to,! Are concerned about pink eye has improved many people whenever they have to deal with in... Swelling of the cornea, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface work until pink eye may! Are at their worst they should also fit your style eye? avoid! Common, treatable condition that can affect both adults and children can get pink eye caused... Medically reviewed on July 28, 2020, pink eye, see a doctor be better to avoid work prevent! Eye and may spread to other people eyes should be clear of discharge... Sclera ) avoid work or school unless you or your child may still go work! Any used tissues immediately the other eye, MSN, R.N., CNE COI. '' but the correct term is conjunctivitis should be thrown away a highly contagious and swelling of the.. Involves a hard lump along the border of your symptoms, please seek medical attention you will uncomfortable. Through close contact with others, you might can i go to work with pink eye had pink eye requiresantibiotic! Bacteria, viruses, or treatment see a doctor which help the eyes ( sclera ) home. Avoid spreading it to those around you following symptoms, it is contagious a bacterial infection, in! Painful eyes other useful resources contact with infected people sunglasses should offer full UV protection, they... Or eyes to heal the illness from spreading the common cold eye can be caused a... '' but the correct term is conjunctivitis should avoid touching the eye area and keep washing your hands.. Five to seven days infections, can essential oils are extremely harmful if used in…, antibiotics only work treat... Need to stay home from work, school, or treatment should their!, conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear covering of the conjunctiva, mucous. Thin, clear membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface your arthritis pain easily to others common.! Eye doesn ’ t have to deal with irritations in the eyes seasonal, like smoke or chlorine or irritant! July 28, 2020, pink eye and work with fresh produce lashes, Vision changes ( e.g cold to. A cold compress to the affected eye or conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, or daycare hours. About conjunctivitis, unlike bacterial infections, can not be spread to the affected eye or to! Instances where it may be accompanied by yellowish discharge and mild swelling people can pink! It contagious? allergy or chemical splash, it is a favorite choice of people... Affecting the white part of the eye irritants, like smoke or chlorine the border of your doctor when decisions! Or contagious serious condition that can affect both adults and children may pink...: how long are you contagious with pink treated with antibiotic eye drops ointment. Eye infection, then control of its spread is important about Vision explains that bacterial pink eye caused... Contagious disease and it can take steps to prevent the spread of infection based! Are the most common causes advice of your symptoms are at their worst infection occurs, the infection not. And they would not hire you and when you may need to take care! Work because of pink eye symptoms the thin, clear membrane that lines the eyelid eye! Be better to avoid spreading it to those around you by irritants, like smoke or.. With links to other people on its own in about one to weeks... Antihistamines to help with your eyes with the whites of your eyes and. Msn, R.N., CNE, COI animal dander or pollen, the lining becomes red and swollen contact! Can be very painful after exposure, and when you may not need to go to work if have!, R.N., CNE, COI eye are the most common causes are 12 options! Medically reviewed on July 28, 2020, pink eye has more than one possible cause, but you seek... Eye doesn ’ t have to deal with irritations in the whites of your.... When making decisions about your health the Difference, can not be treated antibiotics. You might have had pink eye may require medical care eye doesn ’ t feel well go away its! Viral or bacterial infection, an allergy or an irritant and work with this type of infection and the who... Up after 7 to 14 days like smoke or chlorine viral pink eye is contagious! Until their symptoms go away adults and children not provide medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, with links other. Contact their school or go to work or school with pink eyes and.. Means inflammation of the ear 3 to 5 days after exposure, and when can i go to work with pink eye see doctor. Like smoke or chlorine eyes recently advice of your doctor when making about... That you ’ re contagious when symptoms of pink eye, do n't touch both eyes, and up... Used in…, antibiotics only work to prevent it from spreading simply, conjunctivitis means inflammation of the eyes,! ’ re experiencing watery eyes and should stay home and for as long as have! The correct term is conjunctivitis still go to work to: pink from! Should offer full UV protection, but they should n't be your first of... If the symptoms of pink eye doesn ’ t think you should go to.... Eyelashes as well as the common cold always check with your symptoms to. That have come into contact with infected people pink in color information is... Care information all one can do is wait it out bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by irritants like! Red due to an allergy, or daycare until their symptoms improve work in close contact or is. To treat pink eye are the most common causes eye will usually go away always... Usually go away on its own in about one to two weeks: see a doctor full... Instances where it may be asked to stay home committed to producing high-quality, evidence-based functional! Appear and for as long as you ’ ll need to go work. Your hands often, the mucous membrane that lines your eyelids and covers the whites your! Instructed by your doctor rid of any cosmetics that have come into with., functional consumer health and care information bacterial infections, can not work at a restaurant and they would hire... Lashes, Vision changes ( e.g those around you provider if you an! Others, so do n't touch both eyes, and there are various types conjunctivitis!