What is pink eye or conjunctivitis?
Pink eye (also called conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the thin, clear membrane that envelopes the surface of the eye and the underside of the eyelids. Pink eye is very common. It usually is not serious and goes away in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment.
Symptoms can include redness, itchiness, watering, and mucous discharge. Causes include allergies and bacterial and viral infection.
Who gets pink eye or conjunctivitis?
Most cases of pink eye are caused by:
How is pink eye or conjunctivitis diagnosed?
An eye exam by the doctor can help determine which type of pink eye you may have.
Pink Eye Treatment
Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and can be treated with eye drops and over-the-counter antihistamines.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is highly contagious and may be transmitted by physical contact or transfer from doorknobs, eye rubbing, etc. Treatment is antibiotic eye drops.
Viral conjunctivitis is usually contagious. There is no medicine to help viral conjunctivitis; it must be left to run its course. Wetting eye drops and cool compresses may assist in symptom relief.