Viral conjunctivitis commonly referred to as “Pink Eye” is a self-limited disease occurring mainly in children and young adults.

It is harmless, but very annoying.  Commonly, the eye and the inside of the lids become red within a few hours.  In the morning, the lids are usually stuck together by the secretions that have dried during the night.  As it is caused by a small virus, there is no specific treatment.  Cool compresses and a mild eye drop are all that is needed.  The disease normally lasts 7 to 10 days.

The most important thing to know about pink eye is that it is highly contagious.  To prevent spread, wash your hands frequently and make sure that towels, pillowcases, doorknobs, telephone handles, computer keyboards that you use are carefully avoided by those who may come in contact with them.  Young children will be sent home from school and should stay away from other children for at least a week.