Pink Eye Treatment FAQs

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By christine d
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis).' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 June 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376360.
  • 2. 'Treating Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis).' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 Jan. 2019, www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/about/treatment.html.
  • 3. 'When to Use Ice and When to Use Heat for Aches and Pains.' Beaumont Health, Beaumont Health, 3 June 2017, www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/when-to-use-ice-and-when-to-use-heat-for-aches-and-pains.
  • 4. Kumar, Pramod. 'Gonorrhoea Presenting as Red Eye: Rare Case.' Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326851.
  • 5. 'Herpes Eye Disease.' Cedars-Sinai, 2021, www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/h/herpes-eye-disease.html.
  • 6. 'Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) (for Teens) - Nemours KidsHealth.' Edited by Patricia Solo-Josephson, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2017, kidshealth.org/en/teens/conjunctivitis.html.
  • 7. 'Eye - Allergy.' Seattle Children's Hospital, www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/eye-allergy.
  • 8. 'Pink Eye.' National Eye Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/pink-eye.
  • 9. MD, Anne Sumers. 'Can I Use Redness Eye Drops with My Prescription Eye Drops for Conjunctivitis?' American Academy of Ophthalmology, 8 Mar. 2018, www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/redness-eye-drops-with-pink-eye-prescription-drops.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

When a person has pink eye, their conjunctiva becomes inflamed. The person's eye appears pink or red because of swelling in the eye vessels. Pink eye could affect one or both eyes.

The eyes may feel itchy or become painful, and sometimes, pink eye causes a gritty feeling. The eyes may release a discharge that forms a crust over the person's eyes while they sleep. The crust makes it difficult for them to open their eyes when they wake up. Excess tearing is also possible.1‘Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis).’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 June 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376360. At-home treatments and medical intervention can help.

1. How Is Pink Eye Diagnosed?

A doctor discusses the patient's symptoms and asks when they started. The physician looks at the patient's eyes and may ask if they have allergies or if they've been around anyone with pink eye. Often, this is enough to diagnose the patient with pink eye and determine an appropriate treatment.

Further testing might be necessary if the practitioner suspects the condition is from a more serious type of bacteria, virus or sexually transmitted disease. If this is the case, the doctor collects a sample of the discharge and sends it to the lab for testing.1‘Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis).’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 June 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pink-eye/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376360.

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