What is Pink Eye?
`Pink eye`is a term that may sound scary, but this common eye problem typically is easily treated and, with a few simple precautions, can often be avoided.
Anyone can get pink eye, it can also have several causes, but many eye doctors use the term `pink eye` to refer only to viral conjunctivitis, a highly contagious infection caused by a variety of viruses.
What causes Pink-eye?
The primary types of conjunctivitis are:
- Viral conjunctivitis. Caused by a virus, like the common cold. This type of pink eye is very contagious, but usually will clear up on its own within several days without medical treatment.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis. Caused by bacteria, this type of conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated.
- Allergic conjunctivitis. Caused by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander among susceptible individuals. Allergic conjunctivitis may be seasonal (pollen) or flare up year-round (dust; pet dander).
Besides your eye having a pink appearance, you can also have:
1. Viral conjunctivitis
Watery, itchy eyes; sensitivity to light. One or both eyes can be affected. Highly contagious; can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
2. Bacterial conjunctivitis
A sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. In some cases, this discharge can be severe enough to cause the eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up. One or both eyes can be affected. Contagious (usually by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye).
3. Allergic conjunctivitis
Watery, burning, itchy eyes; often ac