How Is Pink Eye Treated?


Quick Answer

Pink eye treatment depends on the cause of the condition. Pink eye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotics including eye drops and ointments. Pink eye caused by irritants is treated by thoroughly flushing the eyes with water. According to Mayo Clinic, there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis; additionally, pink eye from allergies resolves when the allergies are treated using antihistamines.

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Pink eye symptoms include an increase in amount of tears; itchy and burning eyes; redness or swelling in the whites of the eyes; and white, yellow or green eye discharge. WebMD states that pink eye is diagnosed by swabbing the patient's eyelid fluids and getting the samples analyzed in a lab.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pink eye caused by bacteria and viruses is highly contagious. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can be prevented from spreading by following good hygiene practices, adds the CDC. In addition, conjunctivitis cases usually get better on their own, but the CDC recommends that patients with severe cases of pink eye in which there is blurred vision and pain in the eyes should contact their doctor immediately. Newborns with pink eye must receive treatment immediately to prevent damage to the developing eyes. Mayo Clinic adds that an antibiotic ointment is applied to every baby's eyes after birth to prevent infection.

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