You know that awful feeling.  You wake up and you can’t open your eyes.  It’s not that you don’t want to, but there’s a crusty sensation on your eyelids that is making it extremely hard.  You know immediately that you have pink eye.

Pink eye, or otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is caused by a virus or by bacteria.  Common symptoms include crusty eyelids upon waking, along with redness of the eye, swollen and red eyelids, more tearing that usual, and the general feeling that there is something in your eye.

Since most pink eye is caused by a virus, preventing it from spreading is critical.  Here’s how you can play a part:


  1. Wash hands before and after touching the eyes or face and using medicine in the eyes.
  1. Do not share eye medicine. This includes both prescribed and non-prescribed medicines.
  1. Be careful with contact lenses. Do not share contact lens equipment, containers, or solutions and do not wear contact lenses until the infection is cured.
  1. Take care with eye makeup. Your eye makeup may well be a source of the infection. As such, it is important that you do not share eye makeup and you do not use eye makeup until the infection is fully cured. This is important because you could reinfect yourself with the eye makeup products. If your eye infection was caused by bacteria or a virus, throw away your old makeup, and buy new products.
  1. Do not share towels, linens, pillows, or handkerchiefs. The linen in your life can be a cause of re-transferring the infection. Although it adds to your cleaning, it’s important to keep everything fresh while you are healing.  Change your pillowcases often and use clean linens, towels, and washcloths daily.
  1. Wear eye protection. Even though eye protection is always important, it is especially important when experiencing an infection. Wear eye protection when in the wind, heat, or cold to prevent eye irritation.
  1. Keep children at home until they are no longer contagious. After finding out about the cause and treatment course from your Doctors Express physician, you will need to keep your child at home until he or she is no longer contagious