Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid.


What causes pinkeye?

  • Viruses, bacteria, irritants such as shampoo, dirt, smoke or pool chlorine, allergies like dust or pollen.
  • Pinkeye caused by bacteria or some viruses is highly contagious.

What are the symptoms?

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelids
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

How is this treated?

  • Bacteria: Treated with antibiotics in the form of eye drops or ointment or pills.
  • Viruses: Just like a cold must run its course, so must this form of pinkeye. Avoid contact with others as this is very contagious.
  • Irritants: Pinkeye caused by an irritating substance, rinse your eyes with water for 5 minutes.
  • Allergies: Once the allergy is treated, the pinkeye will improve.

Relieve symptoms:

  • Protect your eyes from dirt or other irritating substances.
  • Avoid makeup
  • Remove contact lenses
  • Eye drops may help relieve itching and burning.

Prevention of spreading:

  • Do not touch or rub the infected eyes
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water
  • Wash any discharge from your eyes
  • Wash your bed linens, pillowcases and towels
  • Avoid wearing makeup
  • Do not share makeup
  • Stay at home as pinkeye is very contagious
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Maintain proper hygiene

If viral pinkeye is not treated it can be sight-threatening, if you have any symptoms of pinkeye, get treatment as soon as possible.