Skip to content

    Eye Health Center

    Font Size

    Pink Eye

    Follow-Up Care for Pink Eye

    Your eye doctor may have you return in several days to make sure your pink eye is improving with the medication prescribed.

    Many children with pink eye are not allowed to attend school until they receive clearance from their doctor.

    Hospital workers with pink eye who come in contact with people who are sick may be placed in another job until the infection is gone.

    Pink Eye Prevention

    Pink eye can spread in areas where people live, work, and play closely together. If you are around someone with pink eye, wash your hands thoroughly and often. And don't touch or rub your own eyes.

    • Daycare and preschools will often not take a child with pink eye for fear of infecting other children.
    • Laboratories where people share microscopes are also places where infection can spread.
    • People who share computer keyboards with others at work must be careful to wash their hands before they touch around their faces, especially during cold and flu season.
    • Bedding, towels, and personal items that come in contact with secretions should not be shared. Wash and change sheets and pillowcases every day.
    • Makeup should not be shared.
    • Eye drops should not be shared among individuals; otherwise, the infection can spread.

    Outlook for Pink Eye

    If caused by a virus, pink eye gets better over time with or without treatment. When care is taken to prevent its spread and follow-up is done, pink eye clears up with no long-term problems.

    • Pink eye (viral conjunctivitis) usually goes away in 10-14 days, but symptoms may last for up to six weeks.
    • Damage to the cornea (the clear covering over the iris) may occur if severe infections are not treated.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on January 24, 2016
    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
    Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
    red eyes
    Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
    blue eye with contact lens
    Tips for wearing and caring.
    Understanding Stye
    human eye
    eye exam timing
    vision test
    is vision correction surgery for you
    high tech contacts
    eye drop