People Are Terrified of Getting Pink Eye from Farts
You already know farts are absurdly stinky, and if you push too hard, sloppy. But can your gas be infectious too?
A growing contingent of guys is worried that coming in contact with farts may increase their chances of contracting pink eye: a contagious infection of the eyeball. In fact, more than 5,000 people are Googling “can you get pink eye from a fart?” every month, according to our research department at DUDE HQ,
You probably remember hearing that pink eye comes from poop, which is true (sort of). So it stands to reason that farts—which also come out of your ass—could transmit the infection, too, right?
As experts on all things butt-related, we knew we had to weigh in on this topic. Read on to learn what causes pink eye and whether you can catch it from a fart.
3 Causes of Pink Eye
Pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, refers to infections and inflammation of the membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelids and the white part of your eyeball. The pink color comes from the swelling of blood vessels.
There are three main causes of pink eye.
Bacterial Pink Eye
This type of pink eye comes from two types of bacteria: staphylococcal or streptococcal. You can get it from touching your eyes after coming in contact with dirty surfaces (including those with poop particles). It’s very contagious.
Bacterial conjunctivitis usually causes one eye to turn pinkish-red. It can also be accompanied by yellow or green discharge, which forms a crust around the eye.
Viral Pink Eye
You can get pink eye from viruses like the common cold. For example, if some a-hole sneezes in your face, the virus infects your eyeball. Symptoms of pink eye from a virus include pink, watery, itchy eyes—but you won’t have any discharge.
Viral conjunctivitis is contagious but goes away once the virus runs its course.
Allergic Pink Eye
Allergic reactions and seasonal allergies can also cause pink eye. In these cases, you get itchy, red eyes along with the usual symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing.
You can also develop a type of allergic pink eye called “giant papillary conjunctivitis,” which usually affects people who don’t replace their contact lenses often enough.
Allergic conjunctivitis isn’t contagious—you can treat it with over-the-counter antihistamines and eye drops.
Can You Get Pink Eye from a Fart?
The chances of getting pink eye from a fart are virtually zero. Flatulence consists primarily of hydrogen sulfide and methane gas, neither of which contain bacteria or viruses that would cause pink eye.
Even if there were fecal bacteria or viruses in your farts, they wouldn’t survive more than a few seconds outside the body to cause an infection.
There’s an old wives’ tale that you can give someone pink eye by farting on their pillowcase. While this is indeed a vile, disgusting, stinky prank, science assures us that it’s not possible to transmit pink eye this way.
The exception to this rule is a shart, where you accidentally expel poop while breaking wind. As you’re about to see, fecal matter is a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
Yes, Poop Can Definitely Cause Pink Eye
The rumors about poop causing pink eye are true.
As you can imagine, fecal matter is infested with germs, bacteria, and viruses that can easily infect the sensitive tissue around your eye. In fact, 80% of the bacteria in your body live in your large intestine, where poop is made.
The risk of pink eye from poop is serious enough for the American Academy of Ophthalmology to issue a stern warning not to touch your eyes after touching your anus. This might seem obvious, but a whopping 69% of you guys don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
WTF, dudes? Putting your poopy fingers all over keyboards, phones, and door knobs puts you—and everyone else—at risk of pink eye. Let’s get it together out there.
How to Prevent Pink Eye
Since pink eye is contagious and spreads like other bugs, the best way to prevent it is by practicing good hygiene:
- Wash your hands throughout the day (especially after peeing and pooping)
- Don’t touch your eyes unless your hands are clean
- Don’t share towels or washcloths that other people have used
- If you wear contact lenses, follow your eye care provider’s instructions to avoid irritation and infections
- If you want to play it safe, avoid butt stuff in the bedroom
Wash After You Wipe
You don’t have to worry about catching pink eye next time your buddy rips ass. But you should worry if you don’t wash your hands after wiping your ass. Even if you don’t see brown stuff on your finger, the bacteria and viruses from poop are microscopic and spread easily.
Scrubbing your hands with soapy water for 30 seconds is a small sacrifice to ensure you—and your fellow DUDES—are safe from pink eye.