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Pink eye or conjunctivitis is an eyelid infection that causes eyelid tissue inflammation due to bacteria, viruses, or allergens like dust, etc. Infection of the eyelids can cause redness, crusting, or tearing, affecting your daily life.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms, consult our doctor at Your Doctors Online for the treatment and prescription of conjunctivitis online.

How to diagnose pink eye?

Pink eye infection can be due to varied causes, from allergic conjunctivitis to bacterial or viral infection. Mild infection subsides itself in a few days and is nothing serious. Still, if you experience persistent symptoms like pain, swelling, pus, or dryness, you might require relevant medications at the doctor’s discretion. If you do not need to see a doctor, do not wear your contacts until you no longer have symptoms of pink eye. It’s better to see a doctor for the right diagnosis than to wait until the infection is complicated.

What are the symptoms of pink eye?

The symptoms of pink eye depend upon the type of infection that occurs as follows: 

Allergic conjunctivitis

  • Intense itching or burning eyes
  • Puffy eyelids, especially in the morning
  • Red eyes
  • Stringy eye discharge
  • Tearing (watery eyes)
  • Widened blood vessels in the clear tissue covering the white of the eye

Viral conjunctivitis

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • Itchiness in one or both eyes
  • Gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • Discharge in one or both eyes forms a crust overnight, hindering eye(s) from opening in the morning.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

  • Pain in the eye(s)
  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision not improving with discharge removal
  • Intense redness in the eye(s)
  • Symptoms worsening or not improving, including pink eye suspected to be bacterial which persists after 24 hours of antibiotic use
  • Presence of discharge (pus)
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How to connect with doctor for conjunctivitis

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Hi Dr. Nicole, I have redness and itching in the eye. What should I do?


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  • Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment 0.5%
  • Apply 1cm ointment six times a day for five days


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Treatment options

The treatment for pink eye includes various options depending on the underlying cause.

  • Antiallergic medications such as Pataday and Zaditor eye drops are commonly prescribed for allergic conjunctivitis to alleviate symptoms of itching and redness.
  • In cases of viral conjunctivitis, antiviral agents like Ketotifen, Olopatadine, Azelastine, and Emedastine may be employed to mitigate inflammation and discomfort.
  • Antibiotics play a pivotal role in managing bacterial conjunctivitis, with options such as Erythromycin ointment, Azithromycin, Ofloxacin, and Ciprofloxacin ointments often prescribed to combat bacterial infection and promote healing.

Conjunctivitis medication we prescribe

FAQs about pink eye (conjunctivitis)

How to get rid of the pink eye without going to the doctor?

Pink eye infection can cause blurry vision and affect your day-to-day activities. You can help ease the symptoms by applying home remedies like a cold compress, which reduces inflammation, swelling, and tearing. Otherwise, you can use artificial tears available over the counter to fight dryness if it is the cause. However, it is always advised to talk to a doctor before applying anything on the site of infection. Consult our doctors online at Your Doctors Online for the treatment and prescription of the pink eye without going to the doctor.

What is the over-the-counter bacterial pink eye treatment?

If the pink eye infection is due to bacteria, you can either use over-the-counter pain reliefs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen or use artificial tears to moisturize the dry eyes. These options can ease the symptoms but cannot treat the underlying cause. An oral antibiotic will relieve the bacterial infection much faster.

How to cure pink eye at home fast overnight?

Pink eye symptoms can be eased at home overnight, but a complete recovery is not guaranteed. For example, apply warm or cold compresses to relieve inflammation and swelling, use artificial tears to prevent itching and irritation, and avoid wearing lenses until the infection is treated completely. If the symptoms don’t improve, talk to a doctor at Your Doctors Online for the treatment and prescription of pink eye.

What is the best pink eye treatment for kids?

Pink eye infections can be treated as per the cause. If your provider diagnoses it as a viral infection, you don’t need a specific treatment, and it will go away alone. However, if the infection is bacterial (have pus), your doctor will prescribe suitable oral or topical antibiotics.

How long does pink eye last with treatment?

The symptoms disappear within 2-3 days if treated with an antibiotic. However, no treatment is required for viral conjunctivitis, but it should be appropriately managed as it is highly contagious and can spread to others very quickly. This type of conjunctivitis goes away in a week to 10 days.

Can I consult online to treat viral pink eye?

Yes, you can consult a doctor online to treat viral pink eye. It's safe as you won’t have exposure to other people on your way to the doctor’s office. At your doctors online, our doctors can prescribe you medicines to help ease your symptoms and advise your management of the viral pink eye to avoid spreading it to others.

How to make the pink eye go away permanently?

If your pink eye is viral, it is similar to the common cold but in the eye. Virus infection of this type is not treated with medicines. Instead, it goes away on its own within 7-10 days. However, it can return, and a permanent cure cannot be ensured.

What are the common methods for treating viral conjunctivitis?

Viral conjunctivitis can only be treated with topical antiviral ointments if the infection is caused by herpes simplex virus. Your doctor may recommend topical medications like trifluridine, idoxuridine, or ganciclovir as per your infection severity. Consult a doctor online at Your Doctors Online for the proper diagnosis and treatment of viral conjunctivitis.

Is there a difference in the treatment of pink eye in adults compared to children?

There is no difference between the treatment of pink eye for adults or children and no age-specific dosage restrictions. Both adults and children are recommended for eye drops three times a day in case of bacterial conjunctivitis. In contrast, the viral pink eye infection goes on its own in 7-10 days in children and adults. If the infection doesn’t disappear, consult a doctor at Your Doctors Online.

Are there any steps to prevent the spread of pink eye during and after treatment?

If the pink eye is viral, it is highly contagious, and you must avoid sharing personal use items like towels, makeup, lenses, glasses, bedding, and even eye drops to stop the spread of infection. Direct contact via hands after touching your eyes or face should also be avoided. Therefore, wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes or face.

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