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My 3-year-old preschooler has recurrent pink eye. Will this affect her vision as she gets older?​

“Even though pink eye can be irritating to the eyes, it rarely affects your eyesight and usually doesn’t require extensive treatment,” saysMadhuri Chilakapati,M.D., a specialist in Pediatric Ophthalmology at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic –Main Campus. “Because pink eye is so contagious, it can sometimes be difficult to prevent a repeat diagnosis of the condition.”

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, can be highly contagious for up to two weeks after the symptoms surface. “It’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment early,” adds Dr. Chilakapati. “Preschool-age children are particularly susceptible to both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis, making it even more important to seek early treatment.”

Practicing good hygiene is the best way to control the spread of pink eye. Frequent hand washing, changing pillowcases often and not sharing washcloths are effective ways to prevent the condition.

“If your child has pink eye, it’s also a good rule of thumb to prevent the spread of the condition by keeping her away from school until she gets the treatment she needs,” says Dr. Chilakapati. “Ask your child’s pediatrician when your child can return to school.Many schools and child care facilities require that your child wait at least 24 hours after getting treatment before returning to school or child care.”

If your preschooler has recurrent pink eye or persistent eye tearing, she may have a blocked tear duct. Your child’s pediatrician may check to see if your child’s tear duct opens on its own,” says Dr. Chilakapati. “Your child may be referred to an eye specialist for further evaluation and treatment.