You initially believed that the bloodshot eye you were experiencing was simply a result of fatigue while pregnant.
However, now it is also itching, aching, and getting crispy. It’s highly likely that you have conjunctivitis.
This is sometimes known as pink eye, is rather frequent and, thankfully, almost always harmless.
You might be concerned about treating pink eye while expecting, though, as being pregnant can make even minor diseases worse.
The good news is that pink eye during pregnancy is very curable and doesn’t represent a serious risk to you or your unborn child.
The bad news is the same for everyone else: for a few days, your eye will feel and look like a burning mess.
Here are some tips on how to diagnose pink eye and how to treat and avoid it while pregnant.
Read this article to learn more.
✅ Although it is quite annoying, pink eye during pregnancy is not harmful to you or your unborn child.
✅ However, unless you are certain that pink eye is caused by allergies, consult your doctor or eye doctor if you suspect pink eye.
✅ Tell them you are expecting so they can offer safe treatment recommendations.
✅ Remember that both bacterial and viral pink eye are highly contagious, so wash your hands often if you have others you could infect.
What it is and possible signs and symptoms
The conjunctiva, a membrane that covers the white of your eye and the inside of your eyelid, becomes inflamed when you have pink eye. Though not invariably, viral or bacterial infections can result in inflammation: Allergies, cuts, injuries, or irritants can occasionally produce inflammation.
Pink eye’s typical signs and symptoms include:
- The whites of the eyes are pink or crimson, hence the name
- The eyes feel gritty or scratchy, as if something is stuck there
- discomfort and swelling; discharge that is either clear and fluid or goopy and yellow
- crusty accumulation along the edge of the eyelid
- itching and irritation in the eye or on the eyelid
- a sensitivity to light
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and you might only experience one or two of them. Depending on the type you have, pink eye might fade gone anywhere from a few days to two weeks.
Pink eye causes during pregnancy
Pink eye can happen to anyone at any time, and pregnancy is not a special cause. For people who are not pregnant, the causes are the same. But during pregnancy, you are more prone to disease. As a result, you can get an unfortunate case of fiery red eye more frequently than usual.
The following are typical causes of conjunctivitis:
As the virus progresses, the ordinary cold, influenza, and even COVID-19 can result in conjunctivitis. It is not unexpected that many common viruses can cause inflammation in your eyes as viruses create an inflammatory response in your body. Before, during, or immediately following a viral infection, you might experience pink eye symptoms.
Infection with bacteria
Pink eye can occasionally result from bacteria rather than a viral illness. This frequently occurs in individuals who wear contact lenses incorrectly. However, it can also be brought on by rubbing your eyes after coming in contact with faeces, contaminated respiratory secretions, or even the bacterium that causes some STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Temporary eye inflammation that resembles other forms of pink eye can be brought on by seasonal allergies as well as sensitivities to dust, mould, and pet dander. Itching, redness, grittiness, and watery discharge are the most common allergic pink eye symptoms; crusting or oozing are rare.
Irritants in the environment
Everyone has experienced this: One moment you’re relaxing on the beach, the next a gust of wind starts up and sand is blown directly into your eye. Although your eyes are rather good at protecting themselves, occasionally little debris manages to slip in. An allergic reaction or an eye injury brought on by a foreign object in the eye can both result in conjunctivitis.
Injuries and abrasions
Abrasions and injuries can result in inflammation, redness, and tearing, whether you accidentally elbowed your cheek or scratched your cornea by scratching your eye too hard. Additionally, they may create a space where dirt or bacteria might enter and irritate or infect your eye.
Tips for treating pink eye
Make an appointment to see your doctor unless you are certain that your pink eye is the result of simple environmental allergies. For starters, it might be challenging for people to distinguish between bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Additionally, to avoid long-term harm, you should have the injury, scratch, or foreign body in your eye that is causing the inflammation examined and treated.
You are not required to visit your OB-clinic. GYN’s If you have one, you can visit your usual health care physician or even an eye doctor.
Just be sure to let them know you’re expecting so they can administer care securely. It’s a good idea to call your OB-GYN to confirm that any prescription prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) product recommended for your pink eye is safe to take during pregnancy.
Pink eye treatment during pregnancy
You cannot just wait out a bacterial infection or treat viral pink eye with allergy eye drops. The right treatment must be chosen based on the precise type of pink eye you have. Whatever form of conjunctivitis you have, there are also at-home therapies that can lessen some of your discomfort. Here are a few choices.
Prescription eye drops
You’ll need antibiotic eye drops if you have bacterial conjunctivitis in order to treat the infection. Within a few days, these drops normally help you feel better, but it can take you up to a week to feel completely back to normal.
The majority of antibiotic eye drops are safe for both you and your unborn child, but make sure your prescribing physician is aware that you are expecting. If in question, check with your OB-GYN before filling the prescription.
Tobramycin, erythromycin, and ofloxacin are a few popular brands of antibiotic eye drops for pink eye. These antibiotic drops are widely regarded as safe during pregnancy, according to a 2015 study.
Antibiotic eye treatments won’t help if the virus that causes pink eye is to blame. However, some of the other remedies listed below might work, so take a look.
You might be allowed to use an antihistamine eye drop like ketotifen (Zaditor, Alaway) on a temporary basis if your pink eye is the result of allergies. However, the FDA classifies these allergy eye drops as pregnancy category C medications. Therefore, you would need to consult your doctor first. According to an outdated category system that many people still use.
Artificial tears are a fantastic way to relieve itchy, swollen eyes: They can be used as frequently as required to treat dry, itchy, or irritated eyes, are typically contact lens compatible, and are not medicated.
Ask your doctor if artificial tears can be used to relieve some of your discomfort if you have a nonbacterial form of conjunctivitis and need help while you recuperate. They are safe to use throughout pregnancy because they are merely hydrating drops.
Over the counter medications
Conjunctivitis can cause a lot of pain, but you can ease it by taking Tylenol; keep in mind, however, that ibuprofen is typically not advised during pregnancy. An oral antihistamine may also ease pink eye brought on by allergies. Generally speaking, it is okay to use Zyrtec and Claritin throughout pregnancy.
A home remedy
If your pink eye is viral or irritant-induced rather than bacterial, these treatments can ease some of your symptoms and possibly shorten the time it takes for you to recover.
- A chilly or warm compress. A wet compress that is either warm or cool, depending on your desired temperature, can ease some of your discomfort.
- Mild cleaning. Any crusty buildup or discharge that is irritating your eyes or exacerbating your symptoms can be removed using lightly moistened cotton pads or balls.
- Ignore making contact.
- Green tea bag soaks. If you typically wear contacts, switch to glasses until your discomfort has completely subsided. Although it may seem strange, placing wet green tea bags to your eyes can also reduce inflammation because of the antioxidants in the tea. Make careful to discard the bags after 20 minutes of steeping in hot water and cooling in the refrigerator.
Although these treatments are safe for use during pregnancy, keep in mind that they won’t cure your conjunctivitis. However, they can make it simpler to endure the inflammation. Nonbacterial pink eye kinds typically go away on their own in 7 to 14 days with little to no therapy.
Is pink eye contagious?
The kind of pink eye you have will determine the answer. Pink eye, which can be viral or bacterial, is extremely contagious and is easily shared by touching an infected eye and then contacting another person or object. Coughing and sneezing can help spread it, as can sharing common items like pillows and blankets.
However, none of the other varieties of pink eye are communicable. So you don’t need to be concerned about spreading pink eye if it was brought on by allergies, irritants, or any sort of injury. And you can’t pass it on to your unborn child.
Avoiding pink eye while pregnant
Keeping excellent hand hygiene standards is the greatest approach to avoid pink eye. Reduce the amount of dirt and bacteria you can introduce to your eyes, potentially causing illness, by waiting to touch your face, especially your eyes, until after washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
You might also want to take a few extra precautions to prevent pink eye if you’re expecting. Because of your increased susceptibility to illness and the fact that you are already experiencing morning sickness and Braxton-Hicks contractions, who needs pink eye?
You may avoid things like sharing towels and bedding, irritants in the surroundings that make your allergies worse, additional caution while handling contact lenses if you wear them, and avoiding sick individuals.