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Dr. Stan
Dr. Stan, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2701
Experience:  Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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Is it possible to get pink eye in only one eye How do I know

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Is it possible to get pink eye in only one eye? How do I know if I have pink eye?

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Do you have recent cold/flu symptoms?

Any sensitivity to light?

Any eye pain?

Any eye tearing or discharge or swelling?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I had green discharge in it when I woke up this morning. And I am stuffed up and clogged right ear (and it is the right eye) that is red. Very slight itching and burning but unless I look in the mirror, I barely know it is there. The entire white area of the eye is engulfed in red.

Thank you so much for your reply.

It appears the you have viral conjunctivitis ("Pink eye"). It usually start in one eye and then can affect the other eye - due to unintentional cross contamination. It is contagious, and it is advised that you wash your hands regularly. The course is about 10 days, and during this time, to avoid close contact (i.e. touching others affect rubbing the affected eye). The treatment is mostly supportive with frequent use of preservative tear drop such as Refresh tears every 4 hours while awake. The viral infection will run its course.

However, I would suggest that you follow-up with your eye doctor for closer evaluation, as the pink eye can often be secondarily be complicated by bacterial infection, and so requiring treatment with topical antibiotics combined with an anti-inflammatory drop such as Tobrax or Zylet drop. In the meantime, use the tear drops, cold compresses to the eye 4 times daily and over the counter Zaditor anti-inflammatory/anti-itch drop 4 times daily - in consultation with your doctor.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am washing my hands frequently but what are the chances others in the house (2 year old and 17 year old) will get it. Everytime I dry my hands on the bathroom towel do I need to set that aside for only me? Or replace the hand towel everytime? Do I need to not come in contact with my 2 year old at all for the first 24-48 hours?

Thank you so much for your reply.

I suggest the following for your discussion with your doctor: You should avoid using the same towel with others for upto 10 days - keep your own wash towels away. Avoid close contact with the 2 year old for about 7-10 days, unless you notice a significant reduction is redness and other symptoms. There is a 60-70% chance of infecting others.

Edited by Dr. Stan on 3/5/2010 at 4:38 AM EST
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