Pinkeye – Conjunctivitis

Pinkeye or Conjunctivitis is a reddening and inflammation occurring in the clear membranes that cover the white portion of the eye and the membranes that line the inner section of the eyelids. Pinkeye is mostly caused due to a viral or a bacterial infection, though presence of certain allergies, toxic agents and causal ailments could also be responsible.

Pink Eye

Viral and bacterial pinkeye are quite communicable in nature. It could be quickly spread due to improper sanitation or when one shares any item that has been handled by an infected individual. Pinkeye could spread when one coughs and sneezes. Children detected with pinkeye must avoid going to school or day care till the time the infection subsides. Allergic pinkeye occurs due to seasonal pollens, pet or animal dander and certain types of cosmetic or perfume brands. Chemical pinkeye is caused due to noxious chemicals or liquids inclusive of bleach and polish used on furniture. Allergic and Chemical pinkeye are non-infectious forms of pinkeye.

Conjunctivitis Symptoms:

Conjunctivitis Symptoms

Redness in the eyes

Red eyes (hyperaemia) are the usual, tattletale signs of pinkeye. Pinkeye is a widely prevalent condition that atypically has any grave consequence and would not lead to long-standing ocular or vision impairment if it is diagnosed and treated without delay.

Red Eyes

Swollen, Red Eyelids

The signs of bacterial infection are generally noted to affect both the eyes. The symptoms of viral pinkeye usually starts in one eye and in the gradual course of few days infects the other eye. Signs of allergic pinkeye generally are known to affect both the eyes. Swollen eyelids are the most prevalent symptom in bacterial and allergic pinkeye.

swollen eye

Excessive tearing

Viral and allergic pinkeye are observed to cause overproduction of tears.

swollen eye

Scratchy or Burning Eyes

There is an irresistible urge to itch the eyes with accompanying burning sensation felt in the eyes that are typical traits of pinkeye.


Eye Goop

A colourless, runny discharge is commonly noted in viral and allergic pinkeye. If the drainage turns a yellowish-greenish colour and is excessively been produced, then it is probably a bacterial pinkeye.

Conjunctivitis symptoms

Crust formations in Eyelids

When one awakens with eyes that are stuck shut, then it might be because of discharge accumulation caused due to bacterial pinkeye during sleep. Crust depositions in the eyelids are less prevalent in viral pinkeye.



Pinkeye could lead one to become slightly sensitive to light sources also known as photophobia. A kid having acute signs like vision changes, becoming photosensitive or having chronic pain could be having an infection that has crossed the perimeters of the conjunctiva and needs to be re-accessed by an eye-doctor.


‘Irksome wedged sensation’

One might sense a niggling sensation as if something is constantly lodged in the eye, or an infant might express it as a sensation of sand or dust particle stuck in the eye. Irritation or a grainy sensation felt in the eye could point to the presence of a bacterial pinkeye.

Red Eyes

Diagnosis & Tests:

Pinkeye is mostly diagnosed merely by its distinctive symptoms. Though, a slit lamp examination might be needed to corroborate the experienced signs. In certain situations, a swab of the eye discharge is taken in order to be sent for microscopic evaluation to ascertain the cause.

diagnosing conjunctivitis

When Pinkeye has an underlying indication
Recurrent pinkeye might be an indicator of a causal ailment in the body. Quite habitually, it is an indicator of existent rheumatic ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). Pinkeye is also observed in Kawasaki disease – an atypical ailment related to fever affecting babies and young kids. Continually occurring Pinkeye could point to the presence of certain kinds of inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.


Treatment for Pinkeye

Treatment for bacterial pinkeye is done employing antibiotic eye drops, medicated ointments or pills for clearing the infection.

There is no treatment for viral pinkeye. One merely needs to allow the virus to complete its entire cycle – that normally lasts from 4 to 7 days.


Allergic pinkeye signs show improvement as soon as the allergen is taken out and after the treatment of the allergy itself.

In case one has developed chemical pinkeye, then the affected eyes would need to be promptly washed for 5 minutes following which the doctor must be immediately called.

Conjunctivitis treatment

Ways to allay symptoms

To assuage the pain and for getting rid of the discharge due to bacterial or viral pinkeye, the eyes need to be treated with cold or tepid compresses. It is vital to always ensure that a different piece of cloth is used on each eye to avert any kind of infection being transmitted to the other eye. Also, new washcloths must be employed during every new application.

The drainage from the eyes must be removed by cleaning the eyes from the inner to the outer part of the eye area. In case of allergic pinkeye, antihistamines might be suggested for allaying symptoms.

Treatment for pinkeye

Till when is one infectious?
Those having bacterial pinkeye could normally resume work or school one day following the commencement of antibiotics, as long as the symptoms have lessened in intensity. In case of viral pinkeye, one is infectious as long as one is symptomatic. Checking with the doctor might aid in establishing if one is still contagious.

Washing hands

Pinkeye Prevention

In case you or your kid has developed infectious pinkeye, then it is imperative that the eye area must not be touched and the hands need to be scrupulously and habitually washed, especially so following application of medications to the site. Sharing towels or hankies is a strict no-no, and discarding tissues following a single use. Changing linens and towels on a day-to-day basis, disinfecting all surfaces like countertops, wash basins and door handles. Throwing away any form of cosmetics that was utilised while one was infected.

Image Source: WebMD

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