Pink Eye is not just a school-time infection — Centra Care doctors see just as many cases of conjunctivitis during the summer months. Why? Well, chemical irritants like chlorine in swimming pools, or infection from bacteria or virus in oceans, lakes and poorly balanced pools can also lead to conjunctivitis. While the Lake Buena Vista Centra Care location saw the most cases of Pink Eye last week, the Kissimmee Centra Care had a 600 % increase in cases of kids with Conjunctivitis and the Sand Lake location saw a 300% increase.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the lining of the eye. While many cases of pink eye are the result of bacteria and virus, not all pink eye is the result of infection.
Noninfectious pink eye can come from exposure to irritants like chlorine in pools or from allergies. Infectious pink eye is caused from certain bacteria and viruses that are highly contagious and can be spread in contaminated water.
Whether the pool is in your community, at a hotel or in your friend’s backyard, it’s difficult to know the water quality. To avoid getting pink eye, wear eye protection like swim goggles. This will also limit exposure to irritants from an over-chlorinated pool.
Don’t overlook plastic or inflatable kiddie pools. Never let the water sit overnight and be sure to change the water daily.
Before stepping foot in oceans or lakes, be aware if there are any postings/warnings from local officials on the quality of the water.
If you suspect you have pink eye, wash your hands often, don’t touch your eyes, don’t go swimming and head to one of Centra Care’s 22 locations. If bacteria caused the pink eye, prescription eye drops may be needed to heal the infection.