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Pink Eye Symptoms –What is, Types, Causes, Sign, Relief and Pinkeye Newborns, Children and Adults

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Are you looking for information on pink eye symptoms and causes? This article will give you the most comprehensive coverage on pink eye symptoms, what pinkeye is as well as what causes this disease. While covering this scope, we will ensure we have tackles some of the following questions:

What is Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
What is Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis
  • What is pinkeye and is it the same as conjunctivitis?
  • What are the causes of pink eye?
  • What are some of the pink eye symptoms and signs?
  • How can I relieve myself from conjunctivitis?
  • What causes pinkeye in newborn babies?
  • Does conjunctivitis affect adults or it also affects only children?

This not everything we have covered in this article on causes and pink eye symptoms. You will also get more information including information on pink eye in children and adults and well as some important facts about conjunctivitis. While covering the pink eye symptoms, we will focus on general as well as specific symptoms depending on the cause of pink eye or conjunctivitis.

Facts about Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis Facts

Before we begin tackling all the above questions and much more in work, which primarily focuses on pink eye symptoms, here, are quick facts, you should know about conjunctivitis also known as pink eye.

  • Pink eye is both infection and non-infections depending on its causes.
  • If you are suffering from infections type of pink eye, you need to ensure you are treated since infectious pink eye is highly contagious. See more on pink eye contagiousness.
  • Hygiene, household sterilization, good hygiene and isolation of affected people can help prevent pink eye that is infections

What is Pink Eye?

Knowing the pink eye symptoms without understanding what pink eye is might not be the best of ideas. It is better to understand what this condition is in the first place. Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis or madras eye refers to the swelling, redness, inflammation of the outermost eye surface layer (conjunctiva) that extends to the inner surface of eyelids.

The conjunctiva is often a mucous clear membrane, which when irritated or infected swells and becomes reddish in color amongst showing the many other symptoms of pink eye we are going to discuss in details in this article. See the below pictures of a normal eye picture and a red eye picture to get see the distinction.

Causes of Pink Eye and Types – Conjunctivitis Causes

Bacterial Pink eye – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Bacterial pinkeye or conjunctivitis infection symptoms – yellowish green discharge

You now have a clear understanding of what pink eye is. It is time to focus on the causes of pink eye. Of course, there are different causes of pink eye. It is important to ensure you have established the cause of pink eye for your case before you can seek for ways to cure pink eyes.  Some of the common causes of conjunctivitis include the following:

  • Bacterial Infection – One of the common causes of pink eye is bacteria. When caused by bacteria, it is known as viral pink eye. This cause of pink eye is highly contagious and care must be taken if you have been infected by bacterial conjunctivitis.  See more on bacterial conjunctivitis  including bacterial pink eye symptoms, treatment, prevention and much more
  • Viral Infection – The other cause of pink eye is virus infection, often known as viral pink eye. We have a comprehensive coverage of viral conjunctivitis that has viral pink eye symptoms, treatments, remedies and cures. Kindly see more on viral pink eye symptoms, remedies, and treatment and much more.  You also need to know that this type of conjunctivitis is very contagious.
  • Dry Eyes – Eye dryness has also been found to be one of the causes of pink eye. Unless the cause of dry eye is contagious, this form of conjunctivitis is not contagious. See more on Dry Eyes – Meaning, Causes, Dry Eye Symptoms and Syndrome.
  • Chemical Injury – Going on with cause of pink eye, we have chemical injuries. This is often by either alkalis or acids which when they come in contact with your conjunctiva, they cause burns. If you have mild burns, you will have pink eye symptoms and if the burn is very severe, you will instead have a white cornea. White cornea is due to conjunctiva necrosis, vascular closure and death of epithelium. You can use pH tests to verify that your eye is within the acceptable pH ranges of 7.0 to 7.2 and ensure you receive pink eye treatment until your pH ranges is between 6 to 8.
  • Eye Allergies – Another common cause of pink eye is allergies. Exposure to any allergens (allergy causing) such as pollen grains, dust, animal dander etc can cause pink eye.  When caused by allergies, conjunctivitis will be accompanied hay fever, eczema and other allergic reactions.
  • Eye Irritants – Other than allergies, the other cause of pink eye are irritants. Various eye irritants such as some kinds of eye makeup, shampoos, smoke, smog, sprays, household cleaners, industrial pollutants, chlorine in swimming pools, dirt, etc can cause pink eye.
  • Blocked tear duct – For newborn babies, blocked tear duct can be a cause of pink eye. If you see pink eye symptoms in newborn babies, it could either be the blocked tear duct or chlamydia trachomatis infection.
  • Underlying Diseases – The list of causes of conjunctivitis are endless since a number of underlying diseases can cause this condition. Various diseases such as Kawasaki disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis) could be a cause of pink eye. Furthermore, people with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis will often suffer from the red eye symptoms.
  • Trauma and Pressure Changes – Trauma is not a so common cause of pink eye. It occurs where foreign objects affect the conjunctiva causing pinkeye such as accidentally scratching your eyes with untrimmed fingernails. Changes in pressure as people laugh or force to vomit can cause sub-conjunctival hemorrhage and thereby causing conjunctivitis.
  • Giant papillary conjunctivitis –Finally, on causes of conjunctivitis, we are going to talk about giant papillary conjunctivitis. This is a type of pinkeye, which affects wearers of soft contact lenses. When you are affected by giant papillary conjunctivitis, you will become intolerant to contact lenses, swell, have an itchy sensation, discharge and red bumps on insider your inner surface of your eyelid. You will need to see a doctor or switch to gas permeable contact lenses when you get well from this condition.

From the above many causes of pink eye, it is good to understand that infectious causes are contagious (those caused by pathogens like bacteria and viruses while non-infections is not contagious (pinkeye caused by allergies chemicals, trauma, irritation etc).

Pink Eye Symptoms – Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

We have seen the various causes of pink eyes. It is time to discuss some of the common pink eye symptoms you are bound to have, the moment you get affected by this condition. While discussing pink eye symptoms, we are going to mention general signs and symptoms as well as those that are specific to the cause of pinkeye. This way, be able to know the possible cause from the various symptoms of pinkeye you have.

General Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye Symptoms

In case you have one or several of the below symptoms of pink eye, you might be suffering from this condition. However, there might be other closely related conditions that can cause these pink eye symptoms. It is therefore important to ensure you get the right diagnosis if you are to effectively cure or treat pinkeye. So, what are some of the general pink eye symptoms?

  • Gritty feeling in your eyes – this is an initial symptom of pink eye you should be on the lookout.
  • Conjunctiva eye redness that might affect a single or both the two eyes
  • Itchy sensation or burning eyes sensation
  • Swollen eyelids as well as swollen tender parts just in front of your ears.
  • Eye discharge that will form a crust at night and you might find it hard to open your eyes when you wake up. The discharge will generally be greenish or white in color.
  • Tearing eyes or general increase in amount of tears
  • Increased eyes sensitivity to light
  • Vision that is blurred
  • Some pressure and pain on eyeball

Although some symptoms of pink eye might be similar to those of red eye, pinkeye is just one of the causes of red eye. Red eyes have many other causes.

Cause or Type Specific Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye Symptoms

Pink Eye Cure and Treatments
Pink Eye Cure and Treatments

The above general pink eye symptoms will be experienced by most people when they are suffering from this condition. However to be more precise, we have also come up with specific pink eye symptoms that can help you know what type of conjunctivitis you are suffering from and they are as follows:

  • Allergic pinkeye – other than the general pink eye symptoms, you will also have the normal allergy related symptoms such as sneezing, inflammations, scratchy throat, itchy nose, cold, tearing eyes, watery discharges from your nose, etc. When you see any of these symptoms, you could be suffering from allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Irritants and Chemical Pinkeye – if the cause is chemicals, you are going to have watery eyes, inflammations and mucous discharge among other pink eye symptoms, depending on the type of irritant or chemical we are talking about. Different chemicals might cause different pink eye symptoms.
  • Viral Pinkeye – When you are suffering from viral conjunctivitis, you are bound to have a number of pink eye symptoms that include clear discharge that is light and most of symptoms of cold. Most of the viral pink eye symptoms can last from 5 days to a week. In some cases, they can last for as long as three weeks. However, whenever they last longer, they tend to be chronic.
  • Bacterial Pinkeye – When you are suffering from bacterial pink eye, you will have various bacterial pink eye symptoms, which include itchy and swollen eye, greenish and at times yellowish discharge. The lymph nodes near your eyes will be swollen, pseudoptosis, mild pain, among other symptoms. To read exclusively on bacterial viruses, visit Bacterial Pink eye – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention.
  • Chlamydia Pinkeye – this is a type of pink eye that is caused by chlamydia which is common in Middle Eastern and African countries. This is can be sexually transmitted in adults and adolescents being an STD. Symptoms are similar to those of bacterial conjunctivitis since its cause is a bacteria. It also affects newborns.
  • Trauma and Sub-Conjunctival Hemorrhage – some of the trauma or sub-conjunctival pink eye symptoms you will notice include a slightly brighter redness other than the other general pink eye symptoms we already mentioned earlier.

In most instances, pink eye does not need serious treatment and could disappear after seven to ten days without any form of medication. However, if you have a serious attack that will not heal on its own, you might need to both see a doctor and use the right medications and pinkeye treatments or cures.

How to Relief Your Eyes from Pink Eye Symptoms – Conjunctivitis Relief

Eye Drops for Pink Eye – Use, Side Effects, Antibiotic, Over the Counter and Ointments for Conjunctivitis
How to use eye drops and eye ointment.

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms of pink eye, you need to try the following ways to help relieve these symptoms:

  • Ensure your eyes are protected from any of the irritants that might worsen your pink eye symptoms.
  • Stop using any of the eyes makeup especially mascara, eyeshadows, false eyelashes, eyeliners, etc. until you cure conjunctivitis infection or condition, especially the infectious one.
  • In you use contact lenses, stop using them until the pink eye symptoms have disappeared
  • If you have a burning and itchy sensation, you can relieve it using artificial tears top brand being Alcon Alcon Bion Tears Single-Use Vials 28 ct – 28 ct, which are not usually prescribed. Avoid trying other types of eye drops unless recommended by a medical doctor as they might worsen the condition, especially those that are said to treat red eyes.

Neonatal Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye in Newborn Babies

Newborn babies are highly vulnerable to conjunctivitis, especially if the various pink eye symptoms are left untreated. Some of the common causes of pink eye in newborn include infection by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs and STIs) during delivery.  To prevent such an infection, pregnant mothers are often screened before delivery and doctors take the necessary steps to avoid mother to children transmissions. In case a newborn baby is found to have this infection or showing some of the pink eye symptoms, we have seen, depending on the cause, various pinkeye treatments such as the use of antibiotics for conjunctivitis are recommended.

The other cause of pinkeye in newborn babies is lacrimal duct stenosis or blocked tear duct. This will cause conjunctivitis but will clear on its own. You do not have to be worried about pink eye because of a blocked tear duct.

Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye in Children and Adults

Pink eye affects both children and adults. However, the disease is common in children and spread faster, especially if they are suffering from the contagious viral or pink eye infection. During diagnosis of pink eye in children, it is often confused for other respiratory infections, which might cause nasal drainage that might reflux to drain through tear ducts. You need to check other symptoms of pink eye such as redness in the eye. Furthermore, very young children will respond best to ointment when they have bacterial pink eye infection while older people will respond best with antibiotic eye drops.

If your child has pink eye and he or she is complaining of blurry vision and any pain, you need to see a doctor for further assistance. Ignoring such a pink eye symptoms can be sight threatening.


We have looked in details all the cause of pink eye, general pink eye symptoms and specific ones. You need to be very keen if your pink eye is caused by bacteria or viruses as the two are very contagious pink eye infections and can easily spread from one person to another.

More on Pink Eye/Conjunctivitis

Further Suggested Reading on Red Eyes

What symptoms of pink eye did you have?

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