Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the outer surface of the eye, or conjunctiva. It can be of bacterial, viral or allergic origin.
The most common form of conjunctivitis is of viral origin and is generally resolves on its own. Viral conjunctivitis is characterized by excessive tearing, and may involve mucous secretions. Artificial tear drops, or cold compresses can alleviate symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis may include redness, yellow-green purulent secretions (pus) and itching. This form of conjunctivitis generally requires the use of antibiotic drops, usually prescribed for 7-10 days. It is very important to continue the medication for the complete course as prescribed by your doctor in order to avoid recurrence of infection.
This form of conjunctivitis is generally more prevalent during specific times of the year but some patients have symptoms all year-round. Allergic conjunctivitis is characterized by red, itchy, watery eye. Allergic conjunctivitis may be accompanied by other signs of allergy such as a runny nose, sneezing or coughing. The treatment for allergic conjunctivitis may include cold compresses, artificial tear drops or anti-allergy drops.