Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)

  • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) is the inflammation (i.e. redness and swelling) of the thin tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids


  • Infection (bacteria or virus)
  • Allergies
  • Irritant

Signs and Symptoms

  • Red or pink eye
  • Itchy and/or painful eye
  • Green or yellow discharge
  • Infected eyes can get “crusted” and may be difficult to open in the morning
  • May affect one or both eyes

How is it spread?

  • If bacterial/viral in nature – it can spread by direct contact with discharge from an infected eye
  • If from allergy or irritant – usually not contagious

How do you treat it?

  • When pink eye caused by infection, most often it is from virus, so antibiotic will not help – it will go away on its own in few days
  • If caused by bacteria – it can be treated with antibiotic drops or gel. In that case, antibiotic eye drops should be used for 24 hours before going back to school
  • Clean eyes before putting antibiotic drops
  • Use warm water and wet cloth to remove pus/crusting and dispose it carefully
  • Children who wear contact lens need to switch to glass for a while
  • With treatment discharge should clear up in 2-3 days , however red eye may last up to week

When to Call the Pediatrician?

  • If eye is extremely red, oozing or very painful
  • If child complains about visual blurring or visual loss


  • The best method for preventing spread is good hand hygiene
  • Careful hand hygiene before and after touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid sharing towel, bed clothes or other personal items with person who has pink eye
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