Debunking the Misconceptions of Pink Eye: What It Really Is

Debunking the Misconceptions of Pink Eye: What It Really Is

Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva—the transparent membrane that covers the white part of your eyeball. The visible inflamed small blood vessels become more apparent, making the eyes look red or pink—thus the name. Although this condition is pretty common, not all understand how it differs from other eye ailments. 

To understand more about this condition, here are the common misconceptions about pink eye and the truth behind them:

Misconception #1: Pink eye is a contagious infection

First of all, you should know that conjunctivitis has many types. While some of them may be contagious, some kinds are not! 

The most contagious ones are viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. It can spread through hand to eye contact when someone touches “infected” objects. As long as there is tearing and presence of matted eyes, the condition remains contagious.

Misconception #2: Adults will not get pink eye

Many people believe that only children get it, but that is not true! Although it is experienced more by the younger ones, adults can get conjunctivitis too. That is because kids love to rub their eyes without properly washing their hands—which makes the transfer of infection faster. As kids are also exposed to more children in school or daycare, they are then more prone to getting pink eye!

Misconception #3: Newborns will never get pink eye

As mentioned, this condition is not exclusive to children. Newborn babies can also suffer from neonatal conjunctivitis when the mother passes the bacteria and viruses to the baby during childbirth. It is a form of conjunctivitis where a baby experiences inflammation on their outer eye, a blocked tear duct, eye infection, or irritation. 

Misconception #4: You can avoid getting pink eye if you will not rub your eyes

Rubbing the eyes is not the sole means to get the infection. Any contact with contaminated objects or substances—such as contact lenses, makeup, eye drops, and the like—can spread the virus to the eyes. 

Other types of conjunctivitis can be spread in different ways. For example, viral conjunctivitis can be passed on via sneezing or coughing. Allergen-caused conjunctivitis can also be triggered by dust mites or exposure to irritants. 

Misconception #5: If your eyes are red, then, it is conjunctivitis

Having red eyes can be a symptom for many eye conditions, so this is a false misconception. It is not a sign exclusive to the pink eye! People with dry eye syndrome, allergies, and glaucoma can also get red eyes. To know the real condition of your eyes, visit an eye doctor. 

Misconception #6: You cannot treat conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can indeed be a mild condition that will eventually heal, but the recovery speed depends on the type of conjunctivitis you have. Going to an eye doctor can help you better understand the reason for your pink eye. Some kinds of conjunctivitis can also lead to complications, so it is better to have them diagnosed ahead. Doctors can provide you with treatment that can speed up your recovery process. 

Misconception #7: If you already had conjunctivitis, you will no longer experience it again

Previously experiencing pink eye will not make you immune to it! It is an infection that can happen anytime to anyone. As long as there is a virus or infection, it can quickly spread out. To avoid it, always wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes.


Conjunctivitis can be difficult to determine because of its similarity with other eye conditions. The best way to gauge your eye state is to visit an expert and to learn more about the said condition. Staying educated will help you prevent the spread of the infection more and will help you heal a lot faster. 

Are you looking for an optician in Essex that can help you understand more about your eye condition? Whether you have a watery eye, red eye, gritty eye, or eye pains, we can help you out! Skopticians is a family-owned business providing more than 30 years of optical services. Call us today to reserve an appointment, and we will do a full and comprehensive eye examination!

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