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Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. It can be highly contagious (it spreads rapidly in schools and daycare centers), but it’s rarely serious.


  • Viruses, including the kind that causes the common cold
  • Bacteria
  • Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
  • A reaction to eye drops
  • An allergic reactionto things like pollen, dust, or smoke
  • Fungi, amoebas, and parasites


  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Swollen conjunctiva
  • More tears than usual
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • More sensitive to light
  • Swollen lymph nodes (often from a viral infection)


  • Viruses:This type of pink eye often results from the viruses that cause a common cold. Just as a cold must run its course, the same is true for this form of pinkeye, which usually lasts from 4 to 7 days. Antibiotics will not help anything caused by a virus.
  • Bacteria:If bacteria, including those related to STDs, caused your pink eye, you’ll take antibiotics. You may need to apply eye drops or ointments to the inside of your eyelid three to four times a day for 5 to 7 days.
  • Irritants:For pink eye caused by an irritating substance, use water to wash the substance from the eye for 5 minutes. Your eyes should begin to improve within 4 hours.
  • Allergies:Conjunctivitis tied to allergies should improve once you get your allergy treated and avoid your allergy trigger. Antihistamines (either oral or drops) can give relief in the meantime.

Should I go to Indigo?

Indigo can help you control mild to moderate pink eye symptoms, often by prescribing medications.

If you are having any of the following symptoms, visit your nearest emergency department:

  • There’s a lot of yellow or green discharge from your eye, or if your eyelids are stuck together in the morning
  • You have severe pain in your eye when you look into a bright light
  • Your vision is obviously affected by pink eye
  • You have a high fever, shaking chills, face pain, or vision loss
  • If your newborn has pink eye, as it could permanently harm their vision.

How can we help?