Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – Diagnosis and Treatment by Board-Certified Ophthalmologists

Conjunctivitis (pink eye), is the result of irritation of the conjunctiva, or the clear lining of the inner eyelid and the white part of the eye. It has a variety of causes, many of which result in a mild case that will clear up on its own. Allergens and irritants are the most common sources, but some cases are caused by bacteria or viruses, and may require special treatment at a clinic with an ophthalmologist.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis There are many symptoms related to conjunctivitis, including:

  • Redness or swelling of the inside of the eyelid or the white of the eye
  • Itchy or burning eyes
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Increased tears

If the infection does not clear up without treatment, consult your eye doctor. Ophthalmologists typically prescribe a special antiviral medication if the source of the infection has been determined as caused by either the herpes simplex or varicella-zoster viruses, which are the most dangerous. Severe cases of bacterial infection may be treated with prescription antibacterial eye drops or ointments.

When You Should Seek Professional Care Most cases of pinkeye, regardless of cause, will clear up within several days. Signs that you need to seek professional care include:

  • Moderate to severe eye pain
  • Blurred vision or intensely acute sensitivity to light
  • Intensely reddened eyes
  • Individuals who suffer from diseases and disorders that render them immunocompromised, such as those with HIV or undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Symptoms that become worse or fail to improve
  • Bacterial pinkeye that does not improve after 24 hours of treatment
  • Pre Existing eye conditions that put you at risk for severe infection or complications

If you fall under one of these conditions, you should seek professional care immediately. Our board-certified ophthalmologists can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the severity of your condition.