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Contagious Pink Eye Among Us

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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What is red, itchy and contagious? Since you managed to avoid that poison ivy, it's got to be pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis. Pink eye is an inflammation of a transparent membrane that lines part of the eyeball and eyelid. It's caused by either a bacterial or viral infection -- and sometimes allergies. If you haven't noticed (because your eyes are red and itchy), allergy season is indeed upon us.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Pink eye symptoms can include tearing, redness, itchiness and discharge in one or both eyes, as well as a crust that can form overnight. Bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children than it is in adults, and is extremely contagious.

If you notice any signs or symptoms in you or your family that you think might be Pink eye, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Pink eye is highly contagious for as long as two weeks after signs and symptoms begin, and an early diagnosis and treatment can not only prevent others from contracting pink eye, but also alleviate your symptoms quickly. (S)
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