Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis can come about by a virus, bacteria, an allergic reaction (to dust, pollen, smoke, fumes or chemicals) or a foreign body on the eye.
Viral conjunctivitis usually occurs only in one eye and causes excessive eye watering and a light discharge.
Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs in both eyes and causes a heavy discharge, sometimes greenish.
Allergic conjunctivitis occurs in both eyes and causes itching and redness in the eyes, occasionally in the nose, and excessive tearing.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis usually occurs in both eyes and causes contact lens intolerance, itching, a heavy discharge, tearing and red bumps on the underside of the eyelids.
The best treatment for pink eye is to avoid the causes easier said than done as both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis spread easily to others. Also, warm compresses can help relieve some of the itchiness and discomfort.
Your eye doctor may provide medication, depending on which type of pink eye you have. Viral conjunctivitis does not usually require medication because it usually clears up on its own within a few days. Antibiotic eyedrops will clear up bacterial conjunctivitis, whereas antihistamine allergy pills or lubricating eye drops will help control allergic conjunctivitis symptoms. For giant papillary conjunctivitis, your eye doctor might prescribe eyedrops to reduce inflammation and itching.
Usually, pink eye is a minor eye infection, but sometimes it can develop into a more serious condition. Visit your eye doctor for a diagnosis before using any eyedrops in your medicine cabinet from previous infections or eye problems.
For answers to commonly asked questions visit AllAboutVision.com's pink eye FAQs. You'll find answers to questions such as:
For more information regarding conjunctivitis, and other conditions, check visit AllAboutVision.com.