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Pink Eye

Pink eye, an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva of the eye, is common in both adults and children. Read more...



pink eye

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Is pink eye more common in children or adults?

Pink eye, an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva of the eye, is common in both adults and children. Viral conjunctivitis is the most common cause for both, however, it may spread more easily amongst children in daycares and preschools given how contagious it is. Bacterial conjunctivitis is far less common than viral, but according to the CDC is more common in children.

What virus(es) cause viral pink eye?

About 90% of cases are triggered by Adenovirus, with herpes, varicella, picornavirus, coxsackievirus, and coronaviruses including COVID-19 as other causes.

Are all forms of pink eye contagious?

Although viruses and bacteria can cause conjunctivitis and are considered contagious, allergens are another common potential trigger. Seasonal environmental allergens such as pollen, trees, and weeds as well as dust mites and pet dander are common triggers. Irritants in the environment are also non-contagious triggers such as smoke, dust, and contact lens wearing.

How often is treatment necessary vs. letting your body fight the infection?

Bacterial triggers are far less common than viral ones. In terms of treatment, bacterial causes warrant antibiotic therapy for faster recovery and to reduce transmission. That being said, uncomplicated cases may resolve on their own. With pain, purulent discharge, and if there is a known bacterial trigger or contact lens use, antibiotics may be helpful. Viral and allergic triggers may need symptomatic therapy but not antibiotic therapy.

What factors increase your risk of pink eye?

Close contact with someone with pink eye, exposure to allergens and irritants, contact lens use, and a tendency towards dry eyes can all increase our risk of pink eye.

When should you see a doctor if you suspect pink eye?

Pain, photophobia, constant blurred vision, and purulent discharge all warrant referral to an ophthalmologist.

pink eye


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