Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the thin membrane that lines the inner eyelid or white part of the eye. If it becomes inflamed, the eye becomes red or pink, hence its name. Treatment of pink eye depends on what caused it. Possible causes can include viral infections, bacterial infections, pollutants, allergens and underlying diseases of the body. Some common symptoms of pink eye are:
- Tender and swollen areas in front of the ears
- Swelling of the eyelids
- White, green or yellow mucous discharge
- Crustiness and sticky matter around eyelids, especially upon awakening
- Itching or burning of the eyes
- Watery eyes
Highly contagious forms of conjunctivitis are viral and bacterial in origin. To prevent spreading of the infection, be sure to wash hands frequently, avoid touching eyes and don’t share common objects such as linens, towels, or make-up.
If you think you have conjunctivitis, have your eyes checked for medical treatment. And be sure not to use eye drops prescribed from previous infections or those prescribed for someone else as they can be inappropriate and can worsen your current infection.