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Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

What Is Pinkeye?

To describe Pinkeye in few words we can say Pinkeye is inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. It is caused by viral infection of the eye. It includes various symptoms and of course we have its treatment on our website.


Viral and bacterial pinkeye are extremely contagious. It spreads through poor hand washing or by using shared item (like a towel) with a person who has this disease. It also spreads through coughing and sneezing. Kids diagnosed with infectious pinkeye should stay out of college or daycare for a short period of time. Allergic pink eye(caused by seasonal pollens, animal dander, cosmetics, and perfumes) and chemical pinkeye (from chemical compounds or beverages, including bleach and furnishings polish) are not contagious.


1. Eye Redness

Redness of the eye is the typical, telltale symptom of pinkeye. Pinkeye is a common condition that is rarely serious and unlikely to cause long-term eye or vision damage if promptly detected and treated. Red eyes are even painful and hurting.

2. Swollen, Red Eyelids

The symptoms of infectious pinkeye typically begin in one eye and involve the other eye within a few days. Symptoms of allergic pinkeye usually involve both eyes and almost always includes itching. Swelling of the eyelids is more common with bacterial and allergic pinkeye. Who likes itching? Its painful for everybody. It may accumulate puss in your eyebrows. So you need to take care of this problem.

3. Lots of Tearing

Viral and allergic pinkeye are known for causing more tear production than usual. Unusual tears can cause allergy and itching in your eyes. It may cause redness in your eyes. You know when something gets stuck in your eyes, your eyes start hurting and start tears. Similarly, in this disease, your eyes start to tear more than usual. To fix this problem temporary, you need to use ice on your eyes. This will really fix your problem temporarily.

4. Itchy or Burning Eyes

You would know it if you felt it — that overwhelming itchy, burning feeling in the eyes, which is the typical symptom of pinkeye. This feels really painful and disturbing. You want to scratch your eyes in this situation. If you have this problem then you need to visit the doctor in no time. It also causes the problem of unusual tears that make your eyes more painful and itching. Your eyes turn red.

5. Drainage from the Eyes

A clear, watery drainage is common with viral and allergic pinkeye. When the drainage is more greenish-yellow (and there’s a lot of it), this is likely bacterial pinkeye. This is an unusual situation of Pinkeye disease.

6. Crusty Eyelids

If you wake up with your eyes “stuck shut,” this may be caused by the discharge that accumulates during sleep from pinkeye. This situation is also same as drainage from the eye. The crystal stuck on your eyelid are secreted by your eye. Overnight, these crystals dry and in the morning, you feel this shit.

7. Sensitivity to Light

Pinkeye can cause mild sensitivity to light. A person who has severe symptoms, such as changes in eyesight, severe light sensitivity, or severe pain may have an infection that has spread beyond the conjunctiva and should be examined by a doctor. Due to pinkeye disease, you can’t see the high light. This is due to your sensitivity to light, which is being caused by pinkeye disease.

8. Something in the Eye

You may notice a bothersome feeling like something is stuck in your eye. Or, a child may describe the feeling as sand in the eye. In this situation, you think its eyebrow hair or something else. But the reality is beyond this. This is actually the symptom of pinkeye.

Pinkeye Diagnosis

A doctor can often diagnose pinkeye just by its distinguishing signs and symptoms. However, a slit lamp exam may be required. In some cases, a swab of the discharge from the eye is sent to a lab to determine the cause.

When Pinkeye Means Something More

Persistent pinkeye could be from a severe allergy or infection that needs treatment. Also, the eyelid could be irritated called blepharitis, or the cornea called the dry eye.  Rarely, it is a sign of an illness in the body like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), or inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Pinkeye is also seen in Kawasaki disease – a rare disease associated with fever in infants and young children.

Treatment of Pinkeye

Bacterial pinkeye is treated with antibiotic eyedrops, ointment, or pills to clear the infection. Most viral pinkeye cases have no specific treatment — you just have to let the virus run its course, which is usually four to seven days. Allergic pinkeye symptoms should improve once the allergen source is removed and the allergy itself is treated but can get relief with antihistamines. Chemical pinkeye requires prompt washing of the affected eye(s) for five minutes and an immediate call to the doctor.

Easing Symptoms

To reduce pain and to remove the discharge of bacterial or viral pinkeye, use a cold or warm compress on the eyes. Make sure to use a different washcloth for each eye to prevent spreading any infection. And use clean washcloths each time. Clean the eye from drainage by wiping from the inside to the outside of the eye area.

How Long Am I Contagious?

With bacterial pinkeye, you can usually return to work or school 24 hours after antibiotics have been started, as long as symptoms have improved. With viral pinkeye, you are contagious as long as the symptoms last. Check with your doctor to be certain.

Preventing Its Spread

If you or your child has infectious pinkeye, avoid touching the eye area, and wash your hands frequently, particularly after applying medications to the area. Never share towels or handkerchiefs, and throw away tissues after each use. Change linens and towels daily. Disinfect all surfaces, including countertops, sinks, and doorknobs. Throw away any makeup used while infected.


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