Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Pink eye can be either from a viral conjunctivitis, or a bacterial conjunctivitis. A conjunctivitis due to allergies, known as allergic conjunctivitis is not referred to as pink eye. The signs and symptoms of pink eye can include:
- Redness in the eye or eyes
- Itching or burning sensation in the eye or eyes
- Increased tear production
- Swelling of the conjunctiva
- Discharge from the eye or eyes (can be clear, white, yellow, or green)
- Crusting or matting of the lashes, especially upon waking in the morning
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Feeling like something is in the eye
It’s important to seek medical attention if you have persistent symptoms or if your vision is affected. You can take this “Do I have pink eye quiz” to assess your risk for pink eye. Remember that this quiz is simply an educational guide and the actual diagnosis of pink eye can only be made by seeing an eye doctor.
1. Do you have eye redness?
2. Do you have a viral illness?
3. Have you been exposed to someone with a viral illness or someone who has pink eye?
4. Does your eye itchy or feel gritty?
5. Do you have discharge from your eye?
6. Is one or both of your eyelids puffy or red?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor about your health. If you think you may have pink eye, remember that it is very contagious. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with others that you could potential spread the infection to.
Villegas BV, Benitez-Del-Castillo JM. Current Knowledge in Allergic Conjunctivitis.Turk J Ophthalmol. 2021;51(1):45-54.
Azari AA, Barney NP. Conjunctivitis: a systematic review of diagnosis and treatment [published correction appears in JAMA. 2014 Jan 1;311(1):95. Dosage error in article text].JAMA. 2013;310(16):1721-1729. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280318