Conjunctivitis, which is commonly referred to as pink eye, is a redness of the membranes covering the white part of the eyes and the inner parts of the lids. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies or chemical exposure. In children, viral and bacterial causes are more common, but they occur in adults as well.

The leading cause of pink eye is a viral infection.  The discharge tends to be more watery and often patients present with redness, itchiness and sometimes cold like symptoms. It starts in one eye and then spreads to the other eye  few days later. Viral conjunctivitis may be highly contagious and care must be taken to avoid touching the eyes during an infection.

Allergic conjunctivitis can also present with itchy, watery eyes and swollen eyelids.  Both eyes are usually affected.

Treatments of pink eye depend on the type of conjunctivitis that is diagnosed. In viral cases, the infection tends to run its course over several days and treatments are more supportive in nature. With bacterial conjunctivitis antibiotic drops are usually prescribed.  Allergic conjunctivitis is usually helped by anti-allergy drops.  Chemical exposure can be helped by flushing the eye to git rid of the irritant..

Whenever pink eyes develop, there are some cases that when left untreated serious eye problems can occur. For this reason, the doctors at the Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute should be called immediately for an appointment to see which type and appropriate treatment is needed for patients with”pink eye”.