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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 gets better 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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