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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

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What is Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)?

Conjunctivitis occurs as a result of the conjunctiva – the thin, clear tissue that covers the white part of our eyes and lines inside the eyelid – becoming inflamed.

Who Can Get Pink Eye?

Anyone can contract pink eye. There is an increased likelihood of exposure to the contagious versions for those who work in close proximity with others.

Increased risk areas:

  • Daycares
  • School (Kindergarten through University)

What Are The Symptoms of Pink Eye?

The symptoms of pink eye may present in one or both eyes. They are:

  • Redness – white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Thick, yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes
  • Green/white discharge from the eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Itching sensation
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Burning sensation

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please let us know when you book a consult with one of our Optometrists.  

What Causes Pink Eye and How is it Treated?

The course of treatment appropriate for your conjunctivitis will depend on the type you have. A proper diagnosis by one of our Optometrists is necessary to confirm the form of treatment right for your condition.

Bacteria (Bacterial Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye caused by bacteria is treated with an antibiotic regimen, which may include a combination of: eye drops, medicated ointments, oral medication. This form of conjunctivitis is contagious and can be contracted through direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye.

Viruses (Viral Conjunctivitis)

Antibiotics cannot treat viral conjunctivitis, just like the common cold, it must run its due course.  However, with early diagnosis the length of the course can be reduced with certain eye drops. This form of conjunctivitis is extremely contagious.

If you are diagnosed with viral conjunctivitis it is recommended that you avoid public places and contact with others, in addition to maintaining strict personal hygiene.

Allergies (Allergic Conjunctivitis)

Allergy sufferers often experience pink eye/red eye as one of their symptoms. Allergy medications (oral pills) from over the counter and over the counter eye drops are typically not sufficient for treating allergy-caused conjunctivitis. If you are suffering from severe allerigic eyes, our Optometrist can prescribe very effective eye drops for your condition.   


Mild irritants like shampoo/conditioner, dirt, smoke, or chlorine from pools, can cause pink eye/red eye. If you experience irritation from relatively innocuous substances like these, a thorough rinse of your eyes (with water) for several minutes should be sufficient treatment.
For situations where your conjunctivitis is the result of an acid or alkaline substance, like cleaning chemicals, you will require immediate medical attention to avoid potential vision loss.