How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious? Here Are Signs To Know

Most child care centers suggest keeping your child at home till their eyes no longer seem contagious. Do you know How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious? In this article, we will discuss a few things based on the suggestions from experts and MDs. We will discuss how long the pink eye will seem contagious and the seven signs that prove your eye or your child’s eye is still infectious and keep it protected. So, at the end of this article, you have understood almost everything about pink eyes or Conjunctivitis. 

Pink Eyes Or Conjunctivitis:

How long does it last? It lasts as long as the child experiences matted and tearing eyes. But most cases don’t have any symptoms after 4 to 7 days. But the preferable way to protect your eyes is to consult a doctor and get yourself or your child’s health checked. 

What Is Conjunctivitis?

If you have Conjunctivitis, your eyes may be red, watery, or itching. It leads to pink eyes. Thus, Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the swelling and redness of the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is a mucus membrane that keeps the eyelids and eye surface in line. The most common symptoms of Conjunctivitis include sticky eyes discharge, itchy eyes, and watery eyes. If you have these issues, your eyelids may stick together, and you feel sensitive to light.

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Type Of Conjunctivitis and how long is pink eye contagious:

Generally, we have seen three types of Conjunctivitis, but all of them are not contagious. Let’s discuss these types. 

Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

It occurs when the eye comes in contact with bacteria that cause staph infection or strep throat. This type of Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, and you have to use some antibiotic eye drops. How long is pink eye contagious ok in this case? It may stay contagious as long as the symptoms vanish. If you use any eye drops, they can last for at least 24 hours. But if untreated, it lasts for ten days. If the antibiotics don’t work, it’s not a bacterial infection, and it’s viral Conjunctivitis.


  • Puss & Mucus discharge
  • Redness or Pinkness in the whites of eyes.
  • Ear infection

Causes Of Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

  • Sharing your hygiene items
  • Using old makeup or unclean makeup
  • Dirty hands to eyes

How To Prevent It?

Bacterial eye Conjunctivitis spreads from hands to eyes or infected objects to eyes. So, the best way to prevent this is to practice the ideal hygiene of regular hand wash and wearing swimming goggles.

Viral Conjunctivitis:

The viral pink eye is the most common type, and it’s strange, but you can’t see antibiotics working on it. So, it will cure on its own. It often has other symptoms, too, like respiratory infection or cold. It makes it highly contagious. 

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  • Watery eye discharge
  • Infection to another eye too
  • Cold
  • Fly
  • Respiratory infection

Causes Of Viral Conjunctivitis:

  • Adenovirus (It’s most common)
  • Herpes virus (Uncommon & More dangerous)
  • It spreads from nose to eyes and transmits via droplets of sneeze or cough that reach the eyes.

How To Prevent It?

It spreads similar to bacterial eye Conjunctivitis. So, you have to avoid this virus from spreading to protect your eyes. Regular hand hygiene is a must. It would help if you washed your hands before touching your eyes whenever you touched anything. It would be best if you wet your hands before using the soap. The viral eye Conjunctivitis will take a few weeks to cure. 

how long is pink eye contagious
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Allergic & Chemical Conjunctivitis:

Allergies can also cause pink eyes. Some allergies like sun, wind, smoke, or chemical allergy can cause this Conjunctivitis. It feels irritating if you have exposure to animal danger and bathe in chlorinated pools or water. Of course, this one is not contagious.

Causes Of Allergic Conjunctivitis:

  • Grass
  • Animal dander
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Tree pollen
  • Ragweed

Eye Conjunctivitis Is Common:

Of course, it may be painful, red, and itchy, but pink eyes are common, and many people get infected. Now the question is: Is Pink Eye Contagious? The answer is that bacterial and viral pink eye is highly contagious, infecting both adults and children. The best way to cure it quickly is to stay home and rest.

How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?

  • We discussed three types of pink eyes and mentioned that they are not contagious, but it doesn’t mean the rest will vanish quickly. The exact time required to cure pink eye is different for all types. 
  • The bacterial pink eye or Conjunctivitis takes approximately 24 to 48 hours to improve the symptoms if you use any antibiotic eye drops.
  • The viral eye Conjunctivitis can take a few days to a few weeks to solve the problem. 
  • If you have Allergic pink eye, it will cure as early as other allergic reactions. 

Are You Still Contagious?

You have understood three different types of eye Conjunctivitis and how long it takes to cure. But what if you are still contagious or not? Is there anything you can do to learn if you are still contagious or not? Many people are confused about How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious. So, let’s discuss a few ways or signs that prove you are still contagious.

If your eyes are still pink, you are still contagious. Of course, it’s true for everyone with pink eyes, but not for those who have allergic pink eyes. The following signs prove you and your eyes are still contagious.

  • You still have eye discharge.
  • Your eyelashes and eyelids are crusty.
  • You feel burning eyes.
  • Your eye’s nearby areas have swelling.
  • There is tearing up
  • Eyes are irritating
  • Eyes have Redness or Pinkness or whites

What’s Best To Do When You Are Contagious?

If you are a student or employee, your workplace or school needs you to take care and rest at your home. They may ask to return after recovering from your Conjunctivitis. Therefore, the question is how to cure your condition?

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Treating your Conjunctivitis depends on the type and complexity of the infection. If the person has mild symptoms, they can recover without any medicinal use. Both the viral and bacterial eye Conjunctivitis cured within a few days with lesser severe symptoms.

Home Remedies:

  • You can try the following to reduce the symptoms and effects of pink eye.
  • Use hot or cold compression to control swelling.
  • Use artificial tears and create more moisture. It eases the symptoms.
  • Use a clean cloth and wipe your eyes regularly.
  • Antihistamine eye drops also help.
  • Wear eyewear after cleaning it.
  • Don’t wear old makeup.
  • Don’t use disposable contact lenses more.
  • Don’t use others’ makeup kits.
  • Use contact lenses after recovery.
  • Avoid makeup till infection cures.

When Do You Need To See Doctors?

If you don’t see the symptoms clearing and recovering, you need medical help. In that case, doctors may prescribe the following.

  • Antibiotic eye drops for bacterial Conjunctivitis.
  • Antiviral medicines to fight viral Conjunctivitis
  • Some usual treatments to fight allergic Conjunctivitis

Frequently Asked Questions:

Many patients have different queries. Most of the questions are similar and have the same medical answers. So, in this section, we have covered a few questions and given solutions to the point solutions to guide you through them.

Does Pink Eye Cure Automatically?

Of course, it may do, and you may not need medical help. But it takes a few days or two weeks for mild symptoms to cure within any medicinal use.

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When Can You Return To Your School/Workplace?

It would be best if you stayed home until you think the symptoms have gone and feel completely recovered. You can also talk to your doctor to discuss if it’s safe to get back to school or the workplace now or not. Also, the doctors will tell you which activities to do and which to avoid for some days.

  • You can return to your work or school as under.
  • Take antibiotics for bacterial Conjunctivitis, and it will be safe to go back to school or the workplace after 24 hours.
  • For viral pink eye, it’s better to avoid going back to school or the workplace for at least two days to a week.
  • You don’t have to stay home for allergic eye Conjunctivitis.

What About Unused MakeupMakeup?

You have to throw away the products used near the eye area if you have used them before or during the infection. Buy new products to prevent your eyes from getting infected. 

What About Contact Lenses?

You can buy some disposable contact lenses to wear during the pink eyes and dispose of them after using them. It helps to avoid future infections.

What If a Newborn Baby Has a Pink Eye?

If your newborn baby has pink eyes, you must take your baby to the doctor to avoid eye damage. The babies may have watery discharge if their tear ducts are blocked. But it doesn’t make the eyes red. So, seek the doctor immediately. 

Wrapping Up:

Did you understand How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious? This article has explained everything about pink eye or Conjunctivitis, its types, how long it lasts, and how to cure it. We all discussed the signs you are still contagious. If you still have any queries, let us know.

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