The incubation period for pink eye will depend on its symptoms, type and causes. The incubation period is the period between the beginning of the infection and the emergence of the symptoms. For a viral infection, this could be within 12 hours to 3 days. But for a bacterial infection, it would take one to three days for the symptoms to occur. Depending on various situations, the period can differ from 2 days to 2 weeks. The infection is not transmittable during the incubation period. Bacterial infection will start spreading once the symptoms show up. It will continue to spread within 24 hours following the use of medication. On the other hand, pink eye due to viral infection could be infectious for up to two weeks from the onset of symptoms.
How Long does Pink Eye Last
Allergic Pink Eye: Allergic pink eye may be treated using cold, moist wash cloths which are applied to the eyes. Instant relief can be obtained with the use of over the counter eye drops. The condition may begin to get better within 24 hours once the allergen or harmful substance is removed or when the person opts for the right treatment. In several cases, it can persist for one to two days. In case the remedies are insufficient, the physician will suggest that stronger medications be used.
Viral Pink Eye: Viral conjunctivitis usually lasts for a day or two. Take note that it does not need any kind of medical treatment. Home remedies such as maintenance of proper hygiene in order to prevent its spread and also providing adequate rest to the eyes can have essential roles in the control of the infection. Recovery from pink eye is observable within 2-3 days. However, before complete recovery is obtained, the person can experience worsening of the symptoms. At times, these symptoms can be felt for a few days up to a week. In a few cases, symptoms can still be seen up to three weeks. Symptoms such as excessive tearing, irritation of the eyes and reddening of the eyes can gradually subside. But morning crusting will persist longer. More often than not, a child who suffers from viral pink eye will go back to school or an adult can already go back to work within 3-5 days. In case, pink eye is caused by herpes virus although it is rare, only antiviral medication will help in relieving the symptoms. This situation will require immediate medical attention.
Bacterial Pink Eye: Bacterial pink eye is treated with the use of eye drops and antibiotics. Once you start using antibiotics for bacterial pink eye, eye discharge, redness and irritation will start to improve within 24 to 48 hours. Bear in mind that the prescribed course of antibiotics should be finished even if the condition has already improved after a day or two. If few bacteria will be left in the body, it is possible that a person will suffer from pink eye again and he may have to take another course of antibiotics.