This type of sore eyes (other names are conjunctivitis and pink eye) is a viral infection. (Learn about the other types of pink eye in this article). It is contagious and can spread directly or indirectly. Direct spreading means touching the infected person’s eye and touching your eye. Indirect spreading means touching something, towel or pillow, that an infected person touched with his infected hands, then you touch your eyes. The good thing is that sore eyes infection is not airborne. This means that it is possible for other members of our family not to be infected with sore eyes, even if we have someone in the house who has it.
The secret to not having sore eyes is good hygiene. I specifically told my children to do these:
How to avoid having sore eyes
- They should always keep their hands clean. Wash them with soap and water. Afterward, they can also sanitize them with alcohol.
- If ever they feel like touching their eyes, they should make sure that they wash their hands first. When they feel that their eyes are itchy, they should immediately wash them with plain water or water with a little-dissolved salt and avoid rubbing them.
- They should not use the stuff that the person with sore eyes used, i.e. towel, pillow, blanket, etc. Including gadgets especially the tablet that is touch-screen capable.
- They should avoid contact with the person who has sore eyes, in this case, their big brother.
Unfortunately, even with constant reminders, some members of our family still got infected with sore eyes. The next one was Janel, then Yuan, then Angel and then their daddy. Kristel and I managed to keep ourselves from infection so far. I’m not yet discounting the possibility since daddy still has it as of this writing.
How to treat sore eyes
MedicationsMy brother who is an optometrist told us that sore eyes is a self-limiting eye problem. That means that it will resolve by itself in a matter of days. My children have varying healing times, from 3 to 7 days. No medicine is actually necessary. However, some doctors may prescribe antiviral, anti-inflammatory or antibiotic eye drops. The antibiotic eye drop is for bacterial infections, if any. Some eye drops that we have experienced using are Vigamox (antibacterial) and Maxitrol (anti-inflammatory and antibacterial). My brother also recommends using Tobradex (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory).
As for home remedies, you can simply prepare warm water and add a little salt, then use this to wash the eye directly or dip cotton balls in this salt solution and wipe the eye. Do this when washing away the sticky eye secretions “muta” that glue the eyelids together, especially after waking up in the morning. This salt solution is good for eye because salt has antibacterial property also.
When the eyes are puffy or inflamed or very, very itchy, I boil some water and put it in a bottle. I told the kids to use it as a warm compress on the eye. Wrap the bottle with a thin cloth, if it is too hot. The heat will give relief to the itchy eye. The anti-inflammatory component of the eye drop addresses the puffy eye symptoms.
It’s very important to note in case of sore eyes: NEVER RUB THE EYE with your hand or with anything else (ice, maybe) to avoid aggravating the sore eye.
Well, it’s been a long and tiring 2 weeks. The kids had to stay home one after the other to avoid passing on the virus to their classmates. They had to catch up with school lessons and exams, too.
How about you? Has any one of your family got infected by sore eyes? I hope not. Take care!