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Conjunctivitis or 'pink eye'.

I have a few questions on conjunctivitis. When I was suffering from conjunctivitis, my doctor advised me to wear sunglasses so that no one else gets infected.

I wonder how it happens that if someone looks into an infected eye, then there is a chance for that person to also get infected. Specifically, why does this apparently happen only when we see an infected eye?.

Another question I have is why does our eye get watery when we see the eyes of an infected person?.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The sunglasses are worn because eyes that are infected are more sensitive to light. It has nothing to do with infecting other people, and has absolutely nothing to do with someone catching the infection while looking at the eye. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ Then why did you provide us that image!? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @HarshalGajjar I have provided the image firstly because I was to make sure what I am asking, I mean, many of us has suffered this but only few are there who know its real name secondly to support my second question that why does our eye get watery when we see the eyes of an infected person?. $\endgroup$
    – Singh
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 13:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm affected now! //sarcasm :D anyways nice question. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Also sunglasses prevent dust and wind from irritating the eye.. $\endgroup$
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


You can't catch conjunctivitis by looking at someone, but you can spread it around by touching your eye and touching something else, which then can pass the virus to someone else (viral conjunctivitis can be highly contagious). There are no hard facts, but one estimate is that people touch their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour, more if your eyes are itchy. Wearing sunglasses can not only help the possibly increased sensitivity of eyes with conjunctivitis, but they may also cut down on the number of times you touch your eye (thus spreading the virus).

There is no evidence to support that our eye get watery when we see the eyes of an infected person.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) - CDC
Stop Touching Yourself, Flu Researchers Say

  • $\begingroup$ I have been old that door handles, armrests and other shared things are likely to transfer infected tears to uninfected eyes. Is this true? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 19:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, it is. Hard surfaced like door handles and pencils can transfer the virus. That's why it's important that the person with conjunctivitis avoid touching his eyes, and should wash his hands frequently. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 23:24

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