Pink eye is redness and swelling of the eye surface and the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelid and the covering of the white part of the eye). Pink eye is also called conjunctivitis. Pink eye is often caused by infection with bacteria or a virus. Dry air, allergies, smoke, and chemicals are other common causes.
Pink eye often clears on its own in 7 to 10 days. Antibiotics only help if the pink eye is caused by bacteria. Pink eye caused by infection spreads easily. If an allergy or chemical is causing pink eye, it will not go away unless you can avoid whatever is causing it.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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