Conjunctivitis (Red Eye)Pink eye, red eye, conjunctivitis – whatever you call it, this particular condition is a pain. Though most people have some familiarity with conjunctivitis, they don’t realize there are three different kinds, all of which have slightly different symptoms and require different methods of treatment.

When most people think of conjunctivitis, they think of what we usually refer to as “pinkeye”. This is actually only one form of conjunctivitis, albeit, the most serious one. Conjunctivitis actually refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva- the mucous membrane covering your eyeball.

It’s important to determine which kind of conjunctivitis you’re experiencing before seeking any treatment.

More Information About Conjuctivitis

Viral Conjunctivitis

Much like the common cold, viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus. Although it usually clears up on its own, it is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. Do your best to avoid heavily populated areas while you’re experiencing symptoms.


  • Redness
  • Watering in one or both eyes
  • Itching or irritation

Viral Conjunctivitis tends to clear up on its own. Having said that, you should see a doctor anyway as it could be a different kind of conjunctivitis that results in vision loss if left untreated.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

This infection is caused by bacteria in the eye. Left untreated, your eye could sustain serious damage. Anything that touches the infected eye is also infected, so you’ll need to throw out any makeup you’ve used on this eye.


  • Sticky yellow or green discharge from the eye
  • Eye may sealed shut from discharge after sleep
  • Swelling and redness
  • Itching or irritation

Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops to treat the infection. It’s important to see your doctor for treatment, as over the counter drops may not be strong enough to properly beat the infection.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

This is caused by eye irritating allergens. You may experience symptoms seasonally due to pollen and other irritants, or you may have flare ups year round from things like dust and pet dander.


  • Watering and itching in both eyes
  • Burning sensation
  • Light sensitivity

Allergy medication may help alleviate your symptoms, especially if you’re able to take it before you come in contact with allergens. Artificial tears may also give you some temporary relief.

Doctor Knows Best

It can be difficult to discern which form of conjunctivitis you have based on symptoms, so always check with your doctor before trying any treatments. Book an appointment with us and we’ll help you decide what the next step should be.

If you’re feeling concerned about the health of your eye, or your symptoms have gone untreated for a while now, contact us for an emergency appointment, and we’ll book you in as soon as possible.