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Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)

What Is Pinkeye?

The term "pinkeye" is often used to describe any condition that makes the whites of the eyes appear pink or red. There are many causes, but the most common is conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the layer of tissue overlying the white of the eye). The two most common causes of conjunctivitis are infections (for example viral or bacterial) and allergies.

What Causes Pinkeye?

Patient Comments

Pinkeye is most often caused by contagious viruses associated with the common cold. Bacteria, fungi, and parasites can also cause infectious conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is also common and can be in response to allergens (irritants) in the air or in products placed directly on or near the eyes (such as eye medications or cosmetics). Several other conditions can give the conjunctiva a pink or red appearance, ranging from dry eye and foreign bodies to vision-threatening conditions such as elevated eye pressure, autoimmune disorders, and circulatory problems. In some cases, the eye becomes red secondarily due to a problem in the eyelid such as blepharitis or a stye. Your eye doctor can sort out the cause with a complete eye examination. In newborns and infants, the most common cause of pinkeye is bacterial infection, requiring prompt medical treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2017

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis):

Pinkeye - Symptoms and Signs

How long did the signs and symptoms of your pinkeye last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?

Pinkeye - Causes

Do you know what caused your pinkeye?

Pinkeye - Home Remedies

Did you use a home remedy to care for your pinkeye? Did it work?

Pinkeye - Treatment

What treatment did you have for your pinkeye?

Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Symptom

Eye Pain

Eye pain is often described as burning, sharp, shooting, dull, gritty, a feeling of "something in my eye," aching, pressure, throbbing, or stabbing. Sometimes pain originating from the eye is confused with other symptoms, such as a headache, sinus pain, toothache, or a migraine.



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