5 Problems Everyone Has With PINK EYE – How To Solved Them

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Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the clear membrane that covers the white part of your eyes and lines your eyelids. It can be caused by viruses or bacteria. It is very contagious.

Symptoms like thick mucus or pus may indicate that bacteria are the cause. Antibiotic eye drops can help.

1. It’s Painful

Whether caused by viruses, bacteria, chemicals or allergens, pink eye can cause pain in the affected eyes and a lot of itching. The good news is that home treatments usually help relieve the symptoms, including cooling or warm compresses, lubricating eye drops, and acetaminophen for the pain.

The first step is to wash your hands frequently. It’s also a good idea to avoid touching your eyes or anything near them, and to wipe the area around your eye with clean cloths. Washing your hands often will keep you from spreading the infection to other parts of your body.

If you have bacterial pink eye, thick discharge leaks from the infected eye and dries quickly, leaving a crust that can make it hard to open your eye. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, or eye drops with antibacterial properties, to ease your discomfort.

Viral or allergic pink eye won’t respond to antibiotics, but you can ease your symptoms with lubricating drops and cool or warm cloths. If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses until the symptoms subside. And be sure to throw away and replace dirty pillowcases and sheets.

2. It’s Sensitive

Viral conjunctivitis spreads by touching an infected eye, the hands that touch it and then the eyes, or sharing a washcloth, towels, makeup, or eye drops that have come into contact with the infectious fluid. It can also spread through coughing or sneezing into the air, and by touching the liquid that drains from an infected eye.

It’s also possible to spread pink eye through sexual contact, but that’s rare for people who don’t already have herpes or varicella-zoster (chickenpox/shingles). Pink eye caused by STIs isn’t treated with antibiotics.

A NewYork-Presbyterian primary care doctor or specialist can help determine the cause of your or your child’s pink eye by examining symptoms and asking questions. They may want to do a smear or culture of the pink eye to check for bacteria or viruses. They can also recommend a NewYork-Presbyterian ophthalmologist for an eye exam, if they think it’s necessary. Your provider can prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments, depending on the cause of your pink eye. They may also advise you to avoid rubbing the eyes and use a clean, wet cloth to wipe away the discharge.

3. It’s Blurry

Pink eye, officially known as conjunctivitis, is an infection that causes the white part of your eye to be swollen and red. The infection also causes blood vessels to leak fluid, which gives your eyes a pinkish hue. This fluid can obscure the clear front window of your eye that is responsible for focusing light onto your retina. This blurriness can make it difficult to see until the infection clears up.

Pink eyes are often accompanied by a thick yellow discharge and itchy eyes. Depending on the kind of pink eye, your doctor will prescribe eye drops, ointments or oral antibiotics to treat the infection. They may recommend using warm compresses on the eye several times a day to reduce the symptoms.

If you notice that your child’s vision is blurry, contact the eye care experts at NewYork-Presbyterian. They can assess whether the infection is causing damage to the cornea and provide you with the right treatment to prevent long-term effects like permanent vision loss or eye scarring. They can also recommend a specialist if you are concerned about the severity of your child’s condition.

4. It’s Sore

The inflammation that causes pink eye can make your eyes feel itchy and irritated. If the discomfort gets too much, a cool compress (soak a washcloth or hand towel in cold water and then wring it out) can reduce swelling and soothe pain.

Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops may also help with pain and itching. They won’t make the infection go away, but they can make your eyes feel better until the infection clears.

If you have allergic pink eye, limit your contact with the allergen that triggers it and take antihistamines. If you have viral or bacterial pink eye, follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.

If your symptoms get worse, call your doctor right away. You or your child might need to stay home from work, school or day care until the pink eye clears up. Keep your hands clean and wash towels, washcloths, pillowcases and face cloths frequently. Wash your contacts cases, saline solution and makeup and don’t share them with anyone. Throw out old ones. If you or your child have a fever or vision changes, see your doctor right away.

5. It’s Dry

Whether it’s from an infection or allergies, pink eye can be uncomfortable and annoying. The good news is that, for most people, it gets better on its own. If your symptoms don’t improve after a week, consider speaking with a healthcare provider for advice and to determine if you need antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection.

If you are suffering from an allergic reaction, your healthcare provider may prescribe allergy eye drops that will ease your symptoms. It’s also important to keep your eyes clean and avoid rubbing them. Using a cool or tepid washcloth can help reduce itching and swelling. It’s also helpful to use lubricating eye drops, such as artificial tears or rewetting drops. Using a humidifier or using a warm compress can relieve dry eyes, too.


If you or your child have a case of viral conjunctivitis, be sure to stay home from work, school and day care until the eyes are clear and no longer contagious. Wash your hands often and don’t share towels or washcloths while you or your child have pink eye. Also, don’t share contact lenses, cases, saline solution or makeup.

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