Pink Eye: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions in the world in both children and adults. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

The symptoms of pink eye may vary depending on the cause but usually include:

  • Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelids
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Eye discharge which may be clear, yellow, white or green
  • Itchy, irritated, and/or burning eyes
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Contact lenses that feel uncomfortable and/or do not stay in place on the eye

When to See a Healthcare Provider?

You should see a healthcare provider if you have pink eye along with any of the following:

  • Moderate to severe pain in your eye(s)
  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision
  • Intense redness in the eye(s)
  • A weakened immune system, for example from HIV or cancer treatment
  • Symptoms that get worse or don’t improve, including bacterial pink eye that does not improve after 24 hours of antibiotic use
  • Pre-existing eye conditions that may put you at risk for complications or severe infection

An infant or newborn with symptoms of pink eye should see a healthcare provider immediately.

Stop Pink Eye from Spreading

Pink eye caused by a virus or bacteria is very contagious and spreads easily and quickly from person to person. Pink eye that is caused by allergens or irritants is not contagious, but it is possible to develop a secondary infection caused by a virus or bacteria that is contagious. You can reduce the risk of getting or spreading pink eye by following some simple self-care steps:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
  • Avoid sharing makeup, contact lenses and containers, and eyeglasses

Having Symptoms? See us ASAP!

If you’re having any symptoms of pink eye, see us ASAP! We can quickly diagnose and prescribe medications to treat the underlying cause and ease the symptoms while you heal. It’s our pledge to have your visit be an hour or less in most circumstances, from sign-in to check-out. And you never need an appointment!