In most cases, your doctor can diagnose pink eye by asking questions about your symptoms and recent health history and performing a physical examination of your eyes.
Rarely, your doctor may also take a sample of the liquid that drains from your eye for laboratory analysis (culture). A culture may be needed if your symptoms are severe or if your doctor suspects a high-risk cause, such as a foreign body in your eye, a serious bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted infection.
June 20, 2017
- Preferred practice pattern: Conjunctivitis. San Francisco, Calif.: American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP.aspx. Accessed June 2, 2012.
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- 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.
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- Jensen TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 19, 2017.
- AskMayoExpert. Conjunctivitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Conjunctivitis. American Optometric Association. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/conjunctivitis?sso=y. Accessed June 1, 2017.