Pink Eye

Causes & Symptom Of Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pink eye, is an infection which causes inflammation in the mucous membrane or the film which covers the surface of the whites of the eyes, and inside the eyelid. This area is referred to as the conjunctiva. When the infection occurs the conjunctiva which is usually clear becomes irritated, making it swollen and red. The coloring of this infection is actually caused because the irritation make the blood vessels more visible, giving the eye a pink or red color.

This type of infection is not uncommon in both children and adults, and usually not serious. The life of the infection is around 7 to 10 days, and tends to goes away without treatment from your family physician.

Causes of Pinkeye

  1. Viruses are one of the main causes of this infection, but it can also be bacterial.
  2. Lack of tears or exposure to sun and wind, causing Dry Eyes leading to pink eye
  3. Smoke, chemicals, and fumes, these cause what is known as chemical conjunctivitis
  4. Allergies, for instance dust mites, or pet dander.

Pinkeye can be caused by a bacteria or a virus, and is spread quite easily and is very contagious. Because this type of infection is typically viral there is no medical treatment, although if the infection is bacterial antibiotics can be prescribed. Prevention is your best protection against pinkeye, so proper hand-washing is key.

It is best to not share personal hygiene objects like towels or washcloths, especially when a person has an active infection like conjunctivitis.

Pink Eye Symptoms

  • Bright Pink or redness in the white of the eye
  • Swelling of the inner eyelid
  • Increased tear production
  • Burning, Itching, or irritation in the eye itself
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Crusting or debris on the lashes or lids
  • A gritty feeling in the eye itself

It is important to seek medical advice. Eye health is very important, and you should see your family doctor to have an examination just to be sure about what type of infection you have.

If your conjunctivitis is accompanied by any of the following symptoms be sure to schedule your appointment with your primary care provider right away:

  • Light sensitivity and blurriness in vision
  • A compromised immune system from a serious illness like cancer or HIV
  • Intense pain in your infected eye
  • Eye Conditions that may predispose you to be at risk for severe complications or infections

If your symptoms do not improve in the proper amount of time, or if your bacterial pink eye does not improve after the first 24 hours please contact your family physician for a follow up appointment.


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