Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is redness and inflammation of the membranes (conjunctiva) covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents, as well as to underlying diseases within the body. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood, but can occur in people of any age. There are many causes of pink eye and many varieties of the condition; some are infectious and some are noninfectious. Pink eye does not cause any changes in vision and is usually not a serious problem.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis can include blurred vision, crusts that form on the eyelid overnight, eye pain, a gritty feeling in the eyes, increased tearing, itching and redness of the eyes, and sensitivity to light.
If your infection is bacterial, Dr. Fox may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops as pink eye treatment, and the infection should clear within several days.
Viral conjunctivitis doesn’t respond to treatment with antibiotic eyedrops or ointment, the virus unfortunately just has to run its course.
If the irritation is allergic conjunctivitis, Dr. Fox may prescribe one of many different types of eyedrops.