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3 Ways to Prevent Spreading Pink Eye

3 Ways to Prevent Spreading Pink Eye
A woman's eye that is red and infected. Photo Credit RusN/iStock/Getty Images

Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are extremely contagious. A viral infection just has to run its course, but you can prevent spreading bacterial-caused pink eye by treating it appropriately. Infants and contact-lens wearers are more susceptible to bacterial-based pink eye, which can often be differentiated from viral and allergic conjunctivitis by its heavy, greenish, sticky discharge. The only way to be certain whether your child's case is caused by bacteria, however, is to visit the pediatrician and allow him to swab the conjunctiva or the discharge draining from the eye. If it's bacterial, your child will probably be treated with eye drops.

Apply the eye drops by having your child recline in a comfortable chair or on the couch. Have him cover one eye with a cotton ball or gauze pad. Use a gloved hand to hold his other eye open gently. Lift the upper lid with your index finger and pull the lower lid down with your thumb. Use your other hand to squeeze the correct number of drops in his eye and have him transfer the cotton to this eye. Holding it against the eye can help prevent the drops from being expelled before they have a chance to work. Repeat this process with the other eye, but avoid touching your fingers or the dropper directly to the eye--this can spread the pink-eye infection.

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