Dealing With Pink Eye When You Wear Contacts

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Chances are you are very in tune with health of your eyes if you are a regular contact wearer, especially since you have to get up close and personal with them each day as you put in your lenses. This is why a case of conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, can throw a wrench in your normal eye care routine. The following guide can help contact lens wearer's recover from pink eye quickly.

What is pink eye?

Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a catch-all term for a bacterial or viral eye infection. In most cases the infection clears up on its own in a few days. Symptoms include bloodshot eyes, swelling or redness around the eyes, and discharge from the eye. It is highly contagious during the infection, or pink, phase, which means it can easily be spread from one eye to the other or to someone else.

Is medication necessary?

This is up to your eye doctor or primary care physician. Pink eye usually clears up within a few days on its own. For severe infections, your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help sooth your eyes. Antibiotic drops may be prescribed if it is bacterial conjunctivitis, but they won't help for viral varieties.

Can you continue to wear contacts?

You should not wear your contacts while suffering from pink eye. Touching the eye can further spread the infection or cause more irritation. Further, oxygen doesn't reach the eye as readily through contacts, which can slow healing and recovery from the infection and irritation.

Will the contact be ruined?

If you were wearing disposable contacts it's a good idea to toss the last pair you were wearing and start with a new pair once the infection has cleared up. If you use long term wear contacts, contact your eye doctor for proper sanitizing directions. Generally, using a deep sanitizing treatment, available over the counter from any drug store, will be sufficient. Make sure you clean the contact lens case as well as the lenses.

Are there any methods to speed healing?

The simplest way to relieve the irritation is with a warm compress – simply wet a washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and then lay it over the eye to help draw out the infection. You can do this several times a day.

Pink eye is no fun. Not only will you be in glasses for a few days, you will also need to toss your eye make-up and possibly your contacts. Call your eye doctor, like those at Wear Eyewear, if you have further questions.


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