Moving into a dorm can be exciting, but living in close proximity to so many other students means that diseases can spread easily. One of the diseases you need to worry about with dorm living is pink eye, also called conjunctivitis. Here are three ways that you can get pink eye while you're away at college.
You may be tempted to raid your new roommate's makeup collection, but be very careful about which products the two of you share. While some types of makeups, like liquid foundation, only transfer minimal amounts of bacteria from person to person, other types are much higher risk. If you use your roommate's eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara or share the brushes that they use to apply these products, you could easily pick up the bacteria or viruses that can give you pink eye.
To keep your eyes safe, discuss makeup sharing with your roommate when you move in. Set ground rules about which products can be shared and which are off limits. If your roommate has a new eye makeup that you really want to try, buy your own to avoid getting pink eye.
When you're living in a small space with another person, it can be easy to get your towels mixed up and accidentally use the wrong one. However, if your roommate has pink eye, using their towel could pass the infection on to you. For this reason, you should always use your own towel and make sure your roommate never borrows it.
If you and your roommate have similar-looking towels, store them separately so they can't get confused. You may want to put labelled hooks on your door so you always know whose towel is whose.
Not washing your hands
Washing your hands is incredibly important, but many college students aren't washing their hands often enough. A study of students living in a dorm environment found that only 84% of female students always washed their hands after a bowel movement, while 78% of male students did the same. After not washing their hands, your fellow students will touch door knobs, handles, and other surfaces, which spreads bacteria that can cause pink eye.
You can't make your dorm neighbors wash their hands, but you can wash your own. Remember to wash your hands frequently and never touch your face or eyes without washing your hands first.
To avoid getting pink eye while you're living in the dorms, avoid sharing makeup, keep your towel to yourself, and remember to wash your hands. If you end up with pink eye, see a local optometrist, such as those found at Baldwin Optical & Hearing Aid Co., right away.