If you have pink eye, you need to stay home until you no longer have discharge or tears caused by the infection. In most individuals, it takes three to seven days for symptoms to clear, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Treatment of pink eye and contagious levels of infection vary based on the type of infection. All About Vision explains that bacterial pink eye infections need topical treatments, which help the eyes to heal. Topical treatments generally work within 24 hours and make it possible to go back to work or school. A viral infection needs to run its course as there are no medications to eradicate this infection.