Treatment options for bacterial pinkeye include antibiotics in the form of pills, ointments or eye drops, according to WebMD. Doctors may prescribe antiviral medication for viral pinkeye or just let it run its course, explains Mayo Clinic.
Patients may need to apply ointments and eye drops inside the eyelid three to four times a day for five to seven days to improve bacterial pinkeye, notes WebMD.
Patients with pinkeye caused by irritants can use water to wash the eye for five minutes. An individual should contact a doctor immediately if alkaline or acid material, such as bleach, is the cause of pinkeye, claims WebMD. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medications for pinkeye caused by herpes simplex virus, states Mayo Clinic.