• Pink Eye and Pregnancy

Pinkeye During Pregnancy — What to Do?

Pink eye, or con­junc­tivi­tis, is com­mon in young chil­dren and peo­ple who are in fre­quent con­tact with them — includ­ing their moth­ers preg­nant with their sib­lings! It often crops up wher­ev­er young peo­ple are in tight quar­ters like col­lege and mil­i­tary dor­mi­to­ries, schools, and if online reviews are true, cer­tain restau­rant chains that cater to young chil­dren.

Pink eye isn’t seri­ous, but it is uncom­fort­able and can become quite painful. It’s also high­ly con­ta­gious. While most cas­es will go away on their own, pink eye is annoy­ing and you don’t need that dur­ing preg­nan­cy. Get it eval­u­at­ed and treat­ed as soon as you notice red­ness, itch or grit­ty feel­ing, and tear or dis­charge in one or both eyes.

The last thing you want to do is become Pink Eye Mary in your home!

Pink Eye During Pregnancy Can Be Safely Treated

Preg­nant women are under­stand­ably wary about tak­ing med­ica­tion. If you devel­op pink eye while you’re preg­nant or try­ing to become preg­nant, tell your doc­tor or oph­thal­mol­o­gist. He or she can pre­scribe antibi­ot­ic eye drops that pose no dan­ger to the devel­op­ing fetus.

Eye drops are only effec­tive against bac­te­r­i­al con­junc­tivi­tis and in most cas­es are viral. In this case, your doc­tor will prob­a­bly rec­om­mend the old-fash­ioned treat­ment:

  • Fre­quent­ly clean your eye­lids with a clean, wet cloth.
  • Apply warm or cold com­press­es to your eye­lids sev­er­al times a day to relieve pain.
  • Use arti­fi­cial tear eye drops, which are safe and avail­able over-the-counter.
  • Begin infec­tion con­trol at home: make sure every­one fre­quent­ly wash­es their hands, and don’t share tow­els.

You should also wear glass­es instead of con­tact lens­es dur­ing the treat­ment peri­od and throw out hard lens­es you’ve already worn.

If your infec­tion is due to her­pes com­plex, you may need to take an antivi­ral med­ica­tion to pre­vent it from spread­ing, includ­ing to the fetus. The same goes for infec­tion result­ing from chlamy­dia, which is actu­al­ly a bac­teri­um but acts like a virus.

If your con­junc­tivi­tis is caused by aller­gies, your doc­tor can pre­scribe eye drops that treat it with­out pos­ing harm to the fetus.

If pink eye came about because of an unfor­tu­nate encounter with chem­i­cals or an object, your doc­tor will flush the eye out and exam­ine it for infec­tion. If there is none, the irri­ta­tion should sub­side after a day or so.

Report pink eye that lingers more than a week to your doc­tor. There could be a more seri­ous, under­ly­ing prob­lem. And if any­one at home devel­ops pink eye, get it eval­u­at­ed and treat­ed, too, so that it doesn’t spread to the rest of the fam­i­ly!

Pinkeye During Pregnancy - What to do

Pink Eye and Pregnancy Don’t Mix

It’s hard enough being preg­nant with­out mix­ing in con­junc­tivi­tis as well!

Viral con­junc­tivi­tis will go away on its own, but it’s high­ly con­ta­gious. The stress of liv­ing with fre­quent pink eye isn’t good for you, your baby, and oth­er young chil­dren in the home.

Don’t tough it out — get your con­junc­tivi­tis exam­ined and fol­low your doctor’s rec­om­men­da­tions for relief. Eas­ing the symp­toms might help speed along recov­ery and cer­tain­ly ease your stress a bit. Here are some safe home­o­path­ic treat­ments you can try to relieve the irri­ta­tion, itch, or pain:

  • Apply clean, wet green tea bags to your eyes
  • Rinse your eyes with salt water
  • Dab aloe vera gel on your eye­lids
  • Apply fresh, cold raw pota­to slices to your eye­lids

Infec­tion con­trol is a good idea any­way dur­ing preg­nan­cy, espe­cial­ly if there are infants, young chil­dren, and elder­ly per­sons in the home. In addi­tion to con­trol­ling and pre­vent­ing con­junc­tivi­tis, this will help pro­tect against flu, colds, and any num­ber of stom­ach virus­es.

December 24th, 2018|Comments Off on Pinkeye During Pregnancy — What to Do?

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.


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