Pink Eye

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor


What is pinkeye?

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a common condition characterized by the appearance reddish or pink color in the whites of the eyes. It is caused by an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball.

How common is pinkeye?

Pinkeye is extremely common. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of pinkeye?

The common symptoms of pinkeye are:

  • Redness;
  • Itchiness;
  • A gritty feeling;
  • A discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning;
  • Tearing.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Redness;
  • Itchiness;
  • A gritty feeling;
  • A discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning;
  • Tearing;

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes pinkeye?

Pinkeye can be caused by:

  • Viruses infection;
  • The bacteria infection;
  • Allergies reaction;
  • A chemical splash in the eye;
  • A foreign object in the eye;

Risk factors

What increases my risk for pinkeye?

There are many risk factors for pinkeye, such as:

  • Exposure to allergy agent (allergic conjunctivitis);
  • Exposure to people having viral or bacterial form of conjunctivitis;
  • Use of contact lenses.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is pinkeye diagnosed?

Pinkeye is commonly diagnosed based on the health history, symptoms and eyes examine.

Some other tests can be performed such as allergy testing to help determine pinkeye caused by the allergy.

How is pinkeye treated?

Pinkeye can be treated by different methods, depending on the cause of each type of pinkeye, including:

  • Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis: antibiotic eyedrops or ointment can be prescribed to eliminate the infection of bacterial.
  • Treatment for viral conjunctivitis: in most cases, no treatment is available for viral conjunctivitis. An antiviral medication may be prescribed if your condition is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
  • Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis: drugs can be prescribed to help control allergic reactions, such as a combination of antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.
  • Drugs that help control inflammation, such as decongestants, steroids, and anti-inflammatory eyedrops.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage pinkeye?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with pinkeye:

  • Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use only clean towels and washcloths.
  • Don’t share towels or washcloths.
  • Change your pillowcases often.
  • Avoid swimming in a swimming pool.
  • Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.
  • Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.
  • Use any antibiotics for the complete period prescribed.
  • Apply a compress to your eyes.
  • Use eyedrops.
  • Stop wearing contact lenses.
  • Avoid whatever causes your symptoms.
  • Wash your clothes frequently.
  • Bathe or shower before bedtime.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 28, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019