Pink eye ( conjunctivitis ) is when the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the eyeball) becomes inflamed or infected. Your eyes will likely be red, itchy, watery, and crusty if you have pink eye.

Pink eye is primarily caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens , or other irritants. The infection usually lasts one to three weeks, depending on the cause.

This article explains red eye types, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Types of Pink Eye

Pink eye occurs when something irritates the eye . Causes include a virus, bacteria, allergen, or even some other irritant.

Viral Pink eye symptoms

A virus causes viral pink eye. The adenovirus (responsible for the particular common cold) typically leads to pink eye. It spreads the way many other infections spread through exposure in order to someone else’s cough or sneeze.

Viral red eye can also spread within your body. For example, in case you have a cold or other upper respiratory infection, the infection can move through your connected mucous membranes (from your nose to your tear ducts).

Symptoms of viral pink eye include:

  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Watery discharge

Most cases of viral pink eye are mild and clear up within one to two weeks. However, it can sometimes linger for as long because three several weeks.

Bacterial Pink Eye

The bacterial contamination causes bacterial pink eye symptoms . Staphylococcal or even streptococcal bacteria are often responsible for pink vision. This bacteria enters your attention through physical contact, rubbing your eyesight, or using contaminated makeup or some other beauty products.

Symptoms of microbial pink eyes include:

  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Sticky pus that oozes from the eye

Bacterial pink eye may be moderate and go away on its own in a few days. However, it can take up to two weeks in order to completely clear and may require antibiotics .

Just how long Does Pink Eye Last?

Red eye generally lasts between one to three days. Both virus-like and bacterial infections can be mild plus disappear independently. However , bacterial infections may require antibiotics to clear fully. In addition , allergies and chemical issues can trigger pink eye symptoms. Usually, removing the allergen or irritant resolves the problem.

Diagnosing Pink eye symptoms

A healthcare provider can diagnose red eye through a physical exam and evaluate your medical history and symptoms.

Sometimes they will also collect a sample of your vision discharge in order to have the lab assess what type of pathogen is causing your illness to determine the best treatment. The culture isn’t always necessary, though, since certain clinical signs indicate an infection is viral, bacterial, or even allergenic.


Often, pink eye will resolve in a couple of weeks. However, other times it requires treatment. Overall, pink eye symptoms treatment aims to reduce discomfort, resolve chlamydia, and prevent it from spreading.

How you solve the disease depends on what is leading to your pink eye.

  • Microbial pink attention : A doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops in order to up the infections. Antibiotics often start in order to help within a few days.
  • Viral red eye : A virus needs to run the course, which often takes one in order to two weeks. You may relieve pain through various home remedies like warm compresses and artificial tears.
  • Allergic or irritant pink eye : Flushing the particular eyes to remove the allergen and avoiding re-exposure is key. A healthcare provider may suggest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, topical steroids, or even antihistamines.


Pink eye symptoms is very contagious. Therefore, the best way to prevent infection is via good hygiene practices, such as hand washing and staying away from touching your own eyes. To prevent pink eyesight, consider the following:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eye
  • Prevent sharing personal care items with others (eye falls, makeup, or even facial cleansers)
  • Wash pillowcases, towels, plus washcloths in hot water
  • Keep eyeglasses clean
  • Clean, store, and replace contact lenses since directed
  • Avoid public swimming pools

What to Expect

Often, pink eye resolves on its own within a little while. Still, it’s good to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist , optometrist, or healthcare provider. They will be able to diagnose exactly what is causing your an infection and provide a treatment plan to offer relief.


Viruses, bacteria, things that trigger allergies, and irritants cause pink eye symptoms. This irritation leads in order to inflammation, redness, itching, and eye discharge. Usually, red eye solves on its own in one to three weeks. Nevertheless , bacterial infections may need antiseptic eye drops. Additionally , comfort measures like cool compresses and synthetic tears may provide alleviation.

A Word From Verywell

If you have allergies or an upper respiratory infection, it can sometimes be hard to tell if itchy, irritated eyes are a side effect of the ailment or due to pink eye. In this case, release or crusting may tell you something else is happening. Since pink eye is highly contagious, keep it through spreading by frequently cleaning your fingers, avoiding touching your eyes, and not sharing towels with family members while you are usually sick.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The particular best way to encourage pink eyes to heal is to take care associated with yourself plus use good hygiene practices. You may require antibiotic eye drops within some instances of microbial pink eye symptoms. Clean the discharge around your own eye along with a cotton ball and apply cool compresses to combat pain and swelling.

  • Pink eye is highly transmittable and propagates quickly. In case you have pink vision, you are infectious for as long as you have signs and symptoms. If a person have bacterial pink attention and are making use of an antibiotic, you are contagious until you have been using remedies for 24 hours. Pink eyesight caused by contaminants in the air and irritants is not contagious.

  • Pink eye frequently goes away by itself, usually in a single in order to three several weeks. However , occasionally bacterial pink eye needs antibiotic eyes drops. You can also use at-home measures like a warm compress and artificial tears to alleviate discomfort while you heal.

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