The most common pink eye symptoms include:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Itchiness in one or both eyes
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms you think might be pink eye. Pink eye can be highly contagious for as long as two weeks after signs and symptoms begin. Early diagnosis and treatment can protect people around you from getting pink eye too.
People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don't start to get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don't have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.
In addition, there are other serious eye conditions that can cause eye redness. Typically, these conditions will also cause pain and blurred vision. If you experience these symptoms, seek urgent care.
Jul. 25, 2012
- Preferred practice pattern: Conjunctivitis. San Francisco, Calif.: American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP.aspx. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Jacobs DS. Conjunctivitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Care of the patient with conjunctivitis. St. Louis, Mo.: American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/documents/CPG-11.pdf. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Riordan-Eva P, et al., eds. Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55781421. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 6, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 4, 2012.
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