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Pinkeye - Prevention

Pinkeye is spread through contact with the eye drainage, which contains the virus or bacteria that caused the pinkeye. Touching an infected eye leaves drainage on your hand. If you touch your other eye or an object when you have drainage on your hand, the virus or bacteria can be spread.

The following tips help prevent the spread of pinkeye.

  • Wash your hands before and after:
    • Touching the eyes or face.
    • Using medicine in the eyes.
  • Do not share eye makeup.
  • Do not use eye makeup until the infection is fully cured, 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.
  • Do not share contact lens equipment, containers, or solutions.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until the infection is cured. Thoroughly clean your contacts before wearing them again.
  • Do not share eye medicine.
  • Do not share towels, linens, pillows, or handkerchiefs. Use clean linens, towels, and washcloths daily.
  • Wash your hands and wear gloves if you are looking into someone else's eye for a foreign object or helping someone else apply an eye medicine.
  • When in the wind, heat, or cold, wear eye protection to prevent eye irritation.
  • Wear safety glasses when working with chemicals.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 31, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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