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Stacey Chillemi

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Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection that lines your eyelid and part of your eyeball. Pink eye usually makes you feel like you've got something in one or both of your eyes that you can't remove. Your eyes may seem to be pasted shut from the discharge coming from your eyes. The whites of your eyes may begin to have a pink discoloration, and you may not see as well as you did before.

Pink Eye

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection that lines your eyelid and part of your eyeball. Pink eye usually makes you feel like you've got something in one or both of your eyes that you can't remove. Your eyes may seem to be pasted shut from the discharge coming from your eyes. The whites of your eyes may begin to have a pink discoloration, and you may not see as well as you did before.

Swelling causes small blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become more prominent, resulting in a pink or red spread to the whites of your eyes. Pink eye and red eye are conditions commonly used to refer to all types of conjunctivitis.

Pink eye is an irritating infection to have to experience; it hardly ever affects your sight.  Pink eye can be contagious; it should be diagnosed and treated early. This is especially important for preschool-age children, who commonly develop both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis.



·        Redness in one or both eyes

·        Itchiness in one or both eyes

·        Blurred vision

·        Sensitivity to light

·        A rough feeling in one or both eyes

·        A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night

·        Tearing


·        Viruses

·        Bacteria

·        Allergies

·        A chemical splash in the eye

·        A foreign object in the eye

Most cases of pink eye are caused by viruses. In newborns, pink eye may result from an partly opened tear duct.

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis may affect one or both eyes. Viral conjunctivitis usually creates a watery or mucous discharge. Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thicker, yellow-green discharge and may be associated with a respiratory infection or with a sore throat. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are related with colds. Both viral and bacterial types are very contagious. Adults and children alike can get both of these types of pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis is more common in children than it is in adults.


Your doctor may take a sample of eye secretions from the conjunctiva for laboratory analysis to find out which form of infection you have and to decide on the best way to treat it.

If you have a young infant with recurrent pink eye or persistent eye tearing, your child may have a blocked tear duct. Your child's pediatrician may closely monitor the situation to see if the tear duct opens on its own, or you may be referred to a specialist.


Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops if the infection is bacterial, and the infection should clear within several days of starting treatment. Antibiotic eye ointment, in place of eye drops, is sometimes prescribed for treating bacterial pink eye in children. An ointment is often easier to administer to an infant or young child than are eye drops. With either form of medicine, you should notice an improvement within one to two days. Make sure that you use the medication for the entire time your doctor prescribes it, to prevent repetition of the infection.

Viral conjunctivitis can't be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Like a common cold, you can use an over-the-counter remedy to relieve some symptoms, but the virus just has to run its course. You may notice the condition getting worse in the first three to five days. After that, you should see that the pink eye will slowly clear up. It may take up to two to three weeks from the time you were infected for the virus to go away.

If the irritation is allergic conjunctivitis, your doctor may prescribe one of many different types of eye drops. These may include:

·        Antihistamines

·        Decongestants

·        Mast cell stabilizers

·        Steroids

·        Anti-inflammatory drops.


Practicing good hygiene is the best way to control the spread of pink eye. Once the infection has been diagnosed, follow these steps:

·        Don't touch your eyes with your hands.

·        Wash your hands well.

·        Wash your hands regularly.

·        Change your towel and washcloth daily

·        Don't share your towels with others.

·        Change your pillowcase regularly.

·        Get rid of eye cosmetics, especially mascara.

·        Don't use anyone else's eye make-up or personal eye-care items.

·        Follow your eye doctor's advice on proper contact lens care.





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