Pink eye is one of the most common eye infections in children and adults.

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.

While most cases of pink eye are viral, others can be due to a bacteria or allergen. It’s important to receive a proper evaluation in order to get the appropriate treatment.

Pink eye is extremely contagious, and outbreaks rapidly sweep through schools and playgrounds. If you suspect you or your child has the condition, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of the infection to others, and help ease symptoms.

Symptoms can affect one or both eyes, and include:

  • Reddish or pink appearance of the eye
  • Eye itchiness or grittiness (a feeling of sand in the eye)
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light

A doctor can often determine whether a virus, bacterium, or allergen is causing the conjunctivitis based on patient history, symptoms, and an examination of the eye. Conjunctivitis always involves eye redness or swelling, but it also has other symptoms that can vary depending on the cause. These symptoms can help a healthcare professional diagnose the cause of pink eye (conjunctivitis).

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