Imagine you’re chilling on the couch when suddenly your stinky little brother leans over and blows a huge, rotten egg fart right in your face. Pee-yew, stink bomb!
As you dramatically gag from the toxic fumes, your eyes start to burn. Could this chain of events give you pink eye? Let’s get to the bottom of things, learn more about farts, and explore what causes this pesky eye infection. Let’s specifically address the pressing question: can you get pink eye from a fart?
What Exactly is Pink Eye Anyway?
Pink eye, known medically as conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the super thin, clear layer covering the white part of your eyeball and lining the inner eyelids.
When the conjunctiva gets irritated by viruses, bacteria allergens, or even farts (just kidding!), it can become swollen, red, and sometimes oozing yellowish gunk. Not a pretty picture.
The result is usually irritation, grittiness, and eye discharge that crusts around your lashes, which even makes you sensitive to light. No one wants to deal with such a gooey mess.
Plus it’s crazy contagious and spreads fast through schools, sports teams, and friend groups. Blech! You would want to be that friend who makes the whole group sick, right? So, let’s learn more about pink eye to know how to stay away from it.
What are the Main Causes of Pink Eye?
To find out whether or not you can get pink eye from poop, firstly you will have to learn the causes of pink eye.
Pink eye or conjunctivitis can be triggered by both infectious causes and irritants. Two of the main infectious culprits are adenoviruses (a type of virus) and bacterial baddies like Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae.
These tricky infectious organisms launch sneak attacks on your unsuspecting eyes through contact transmission. All it takes is someone contagious rubbing their eyes, then touching a shared object with their germy hands. If you accidentally touch the said object before touching your own eyes, boom – your eyes just got ambushed with eye infection cooties. Not cool.
Allergic pink eye is different and happens when your eyes freak out over environmental allergens they perceive as enemies. Pollen, pet dander, mold spores, or dust mites are some of the allergens you should look out for.
The conjunctiva floods with histamines and the blood vessels in your eyes try to flush out these “intruders”. This process will make your eyes red, runny, and miserable.
So, do the farts contain these contagious bacteria that cause pink eye? If so, then can you get pink eye from a fart? Well, to answer that question we will have to learn more about farts and poop.
Can you get Pink Eye from poop?
Good question! Yes, poop particles harboring bad bacteria or viruses can sometimes cause pink eye. Because let’s face it, farts come out the back end for a reason, and that area is filled with microbes.
If you touch your eyes with fingers that are contaminated by infected poop before proper hand washing, some icky infection transmission could maybe happen. Yuck!
This could theoretically occur through accidental cross-contamination. For example, if a toddler got bacteria-ridden poop on their hands after using the bathroom, didn’t properly wash up and then rubbed their eyes. So this presents one more reason to instill stellar potty-training hygiene habits in young! If not, one can definitely get pink eye from poop.
But What About Farts Themselves? Can you get pink eye from a fart?
Let’s explore this stinky situation. First, let’s start with a quick fart primer in order to know more about farts.
Farts contain gases produced by gut bacteria during normal digestion processes. Many of these gaseous components are odorless. But some super-smelly sulfur-rich compounds like hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and skatole undeniably stink. We can thank the digestion of foods containing sulfur-producing amino acids like eggs, cauliflower, meat, and milk for this gag-worthy smell.
Now imagine your bratty brother’s toxic fart particles floating through the air and making direct contact with your conjunctiva. Could that blast of sulfuric flatus independently set off a bout of pink eye all by itself?
After a thorough investigation into the causes of conjunctivitis, there is no evidence flatulence alone can directly infect eyes and lead to pink eye. Stinky fart vapors in proximity to eyes may irritate or sting them temporarily. But true pink eye inflammation requires the introduction of foreign pathogens that fart gas itself doesn’t contain.
So while a huge fart to the face seems brutally unpleasant and unnecessary, at least a pink eye infection wouldn’t likely be part of your wrath. (Unless the farter also touched contaminated surfaces and then your eyes with unwashed hands.)
How Could a Fart Increase Pink Eye Risks Then?
While eye irritation from the foul sulfur stench should clear quickly, remember pink eye easily spreads through hand-to-eye contact after touching infected eyes or other contaminated surfaces. This provides an indirect pathway for fart-related pink eye transmission.
Let’s demonstrate this in an imaginary scenario. Say your gassy little brother’s flatulence antics cause you to get spray from the toilet bowl on your hand. While utterly disgusted, you immediately rub your eye. The contaminated water enters your eye and contains gnarly germs that set off a case of bacterial pink eye a few days later.
So while your brother’s farts didn’t directly cause pink eye through fart particle transmission, they did indirectly increase risks by inspiring annoyed toilet water smacking which led to cross-contamination into the eyes. The moral is good hygiene remains critical regardless of how or where pink eye exposure occurs – farting around or not!
How Can I Prevent Pink Eye in General Then?
While you can’t control other people’s gas attacks, you can control your own eye hygiene. Excellent hand-washing hygiene provides first-line defense against catching and spreading pink eye. Lather soap and scrub palms, wrists, fingers, and nails for 20 seconds before rinsing. Develop awareness of what you touch before touching your eyes. Avoid shared towels, pillows, or makeup if pink eye lurks. Use tissues or elbows, not fingers on runny eyes.
Stay vigilant for symptoms of pink eye, especially if friends or classmates get diagnosed. See the school nurse immediately if eyes become irritated, red, light-sensitive, or oozing gunk for prompt treatment. Catching it fast helps nip contagiousness and complications in the bud.
While you can get pink eye from poop, a direct transmission of pink eye from fart particles alone stays unproven. But as one learns more about farts, it will be beneficial for you to stay away regardless of whether it creates pink eye or not.
Maintain good hygiene and hand washing habits to minimize infection risks of all causes. With awareness and good practices, you can rise above irritation from rough fart encounters as well as possible pink eye pitfalls. Stay proactive against contagious invaders, and keep farting friends at bay too!
- Conjunctivitis | Pink eye. (2019).