Dermatology Information and Resources
Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye is a is an inflammation of the clear tissue that covers the eye. Inflamed blood vessels in the eye become visible, giving the eye a dim, red or pinkish appearance.
Common Symptoms: Apart from a reddish, pinkish color conjunctivitis may be accompanied by an increase in eye discharge, burning, gritty feelings like something is in the eye, swelling around the eye, itchiness, irritation, and blurred vision. Since conjunctivitis is most likely connected to viruses and allergies, it is common to experience co-occurring symptoms such as a runny nose, sore or itchy throat, sneezing, coughing, and overall malaise.
Causes: Conjunctivitis is most common in children due to viruses and allergic reactions. Seasonal allergies are likely to cause conjunctivitis in all age groups as a reaction to pollen, dust, and other environmental factors. Viral conjunctivitis is contagious and usually accompanies the common cold, while bacterial conjunctivitis can result from staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria that gets into the eye as a result of poor hygiene or the use of cosmetics or products that carry bacteria. Chemical conjunctivitis is also common in places with excessive air pollution, chemical exposure, and chlorine from pools and jacuzzis.
Treatment: Most cases of conjunctivitis will go away on its own, especially in the case of viruses or allergies. However, chronic conjunctivitis, eye pain or any case where vision seems to be impacted should be examined by a medical professional who can evaluate the eye tissue, perform an eye flush, test vision, and prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment such as such as Bleph (sulfacetamide sodium), Moxeza (moxifloxacin), Zymar (gatifloxacin), Romycin (erythromycin), Polytrim (polymyxin/trimethoprim), Ak-Tracin, Bacticin (bacitracin) or antihistamines to reduce symptoms. As for home treatment, over-the-counter eye drops, OTC antihistamines, and cool compresses can help alleviate symptoms.