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Technically, pink eye is the acute, contagious form of  

conjunctivitis which is the inflammation of the clear mucous 

membrane which lines the inner surface of the eyelids and 

overlies the white front surface of the eye, or sclera.
Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye
The hallmark sign of pink eye is a pink or reddish appearance 

due to inflammation and dilation of conjunctival blood vessels. 

Other symptoms may include a mucous discharge, watery 

eyes, itchy eyes, and sensitivity to light and pain.  The way your 

eyes feel provide some clues to what type of pink eye you have:
• Viral Conjunctivitis usually causes excessive eye watering  

    and a light discharge.
• Bacterial Conjunctivitis often causes a thick, sticky yellowish  

    discharge, sometimes greenish.
• Allergic Conjunctivitis affects both eyes and causes itching  

    and redness in the eyes and sometimes the nose, as well as  

    excessive tearing.
What Causes Pink Eye?
Though pink eye can affect anyone, it is especially common 

among kids in daycare or school because of the amount of  

bacteria transferred between children. Conjunctivitis may  

also be triggered by a virus, an allergic reaction (to dust, pollen, 

smoke, fumes or chemicals) or, in the case of giant papillary 

conjunctivitis, a foreign body on the eye, typically a contact 

lens. Bacterial and viral infections elsewhere in the body 

may also induce conjunctivitis.
Treatment of Pink Eye
Avoidance is your first line of defense.  Eye doctors don’t  

normally prescribe medication for viral conjunctivitis, because  

it usually clears up on its own in a few days. Artificial tears can 

be prescribed to relieve dryness and discomfort. Antibiotic  

eye drops or ointments will alleviate most forms of bacterial  

conjunctivitis, while antibiotic tablets are used for certain 

infections that originate elsewhere in the body. Usually 

conjunctivitis is a minor eye infection. But sometimes it can 

develop into a more serious condition. See your eye doctor 

for a diagnosis before using any eye drops.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) 

by Dr. Dipak R. Kalani

Dr. Kalani, O.D., a Shadow Creek resident, is an 

Optometrist and owner of Vision Source Family 

Eye Care.  For more information on healthy eye 

exams or to schedule an appointment, call today

713-436-7544, or request an eye exam online at  

www.visionsource-shadowcreek.com.

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