As each school year gets underway, illness and infections spread throughout the classroom.  A common eye problem is viral conjunctivitis, commonly called “pink eye”.  It starts usually in one eye and may spread to the other eye by contact. If a child or adult truly has this viral infection, it is important that they keep their hands clean throughout the day, void touching the face or eyes, discontinue contact lens use, change pillow cases and sheets,  and to avoid sharing face and hand towels in the bathroom.   Serious problems can arise if a self diagnosis is given for “pink
eye”.  Inflammation within the eye, ocular allergies, bacterial infections and more serious viral infections may seem to be the common “pink eye”, but they  can lead to permanent vision loss if not properly treated. It is important to have the eyes examined by your optometrist if you suspect a viral conjunctivitis, but still take the precautions listed above incase this is a contagious problem.