Right after I arrived home, I knew I caught something on the plane. It was filled with people coughing all the way. Usually, I can withstand this kind of environment and stay healthy. Not this time – started with mild cough and runny nose, and then all of a sudden total outbreak of red eye several days later, I was infected in the eyes. Yeah, pink eye.
I never had pink eye at very serious level until now.
Note: You can skip the next paragraph if you dislike gross details.
My eyes basically ooze out ugly pus (eye discharge) all night without me knowing. The next morning my eyes are glued together by this yucky stuff. I have no choice but to contact my family physician to ensure the problem is not something life or sight threatening. I went to see the optometrist. She gave me the bad news that I have viral infection in my eyes. The pus, however, is actually good news because my immune system is reacting to the virus and the pus is, exactly like the phlegm one gets in the throat from flu, the resulting product of expelled virus and my body fluid. If my body could not fend off the virus, there would be little or no discharge and the discomfort (including sharp pain) would be worse.
In short, I caught pink eye and it is in a form that I just need to take care of my eyes until the virus is cleansed out.
How It Started
So how did I get the infection? Nope, not the dirty hands or whatever you read from the internet. It is simply the virus gets into my eyes through the breach of the part of sinus connecting to the eyes.
How do I know? It happened right after I blow my nose and blood is found due to the dry condition in Canada.
It took just two hours after that to turn my eyes from clear white into bloody eye.
How to Handle Pink Eye Safely and Comfortably
Here is the good part on how to handle pink eye safely and comfortably. I have done this with my kids before so I know it reduces the discomfort a lot.
To help the eyes recovering faster, we have to flush out those discharge so that they do not scar the eyes and do not damage the sensitive skins around the eyes. To do that, warm water is better than cold water, unlike what majority of things you read out there. Warm water made from boiled water is safest. Add coconut oil to the mixture too as it helps to soften the discharge coming off the eyes.
Remember not to rub the eyes harshly because the mucus actually stick to the skin. Trying to remove them by force can bruise your skin. You have to start with just soaking the eyes with the warm water mixture first. Only until the mucus are dissolving that you move onto using very soft material to clean out the pus.
Once the cleaning is done, use regular eye drops that simulate tears to flush out the hidden mucus. Then clean out the pus again.
Once you are done, you can apply coconut oil all around the eyes to help the skin to recover.
At this point, if the eyes are swollen and in pain, using a cold compress on the eyes will sooth them.
If there is no mucus to deal with, you can keep the eye drops in the refrigerator so that they can sooth your eyes on contact.
An important thing to remember though is that if you have only one eye being infected, you should be extremely careful not to contaminate your other eye by your hands or the environment. One good way is to wash your hands (or using hand sanitizer) often.
To Speed Up the Recovery
Well, drinking lots of water and having enough rest are the two most important things to do to get rid of pink eye.
Since the discharge from the eyes are highly contagious, it is also advisable not to travel around so that you will not infect the others.
Seriously, when your eyes are constantly discharging yucky stuff, it can be quite scary for anyone meeting you face to face.
My eyes are getting better. Most of the redness is now gone. Overall I do not have much discomfort from my eyes, just inconvenience.
However, my work schedule is totally disrupted. I managed to response to some email every day but nothing much can be done beyond that when your eyes are not cooperating. I can tell that another catch up race is in the making.
This bout of sickness reminds me to be grateful for having pretty good health overall. I should take good care of my body from now on even when I am traveling. If I were not that confident of my fitness, this round of illness could be totally avoided.
Another good lesson of “pride goes before a fall”.