On the Pulse: Catching the “red eye”…
Conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) has arrived at BU just as most of you are getting ready to jet out for Spring break. It can be caused by allergies, chemicals, viruses and bacteria. While pink eye does not lead to permanent health problems, it is annoying. Besides causing one or two unsightly eyes, it can cause blurred vision, yellow discharge, itchiness and discomfort. Equally unfortunate, conjunctivitis is easily spread in close quarters.
If you don’t want to go home for break looking like you were out all night partying or crying uncontrollably, take these precautions to avoid infection…
1. WASH YOUR HANDS
2. Do NOT share cellphones, drinks, utensils
3. Avoid touching your face at all costs
If you’ve been unlucky enough to contract conjunctivitis, throw out your contacts and eye makeup and use hot or cold compresses as needed. If your eyes are not improving with these self-care measures, you can seek treatment at the health center. Typically antibiotic drops are prescribed if the infection is limited to the eyes. Sometimes there are sinus issues involved and oral antibiotics may be used. If the infection is caused by a virus, the eyes will just have to get better on their own. A typical infection lasts 5-7 days, so try to avoid contact and enjoy a bright and sunny break.
— Student Health Center Medical Director Dr. Catherine O’Neil