2nd October 2019
Is there a difference between pink eye and a cold in your eye?
Viral conjunctivitis comes on fast when the eye or body is infected with a virus. Often just an additional symptom of the cold or flu, viral conjunctivitis causes a sticky, watery discharge that is very contagious. This infection should go away within 3-5 days, but it can also trigger bacterial conjunctivitis.
What causes cold in your eyes?
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and is caused by a virus such as the common cold or herpes simplex virus. Eye discharge associated with viral pink eye typically is clear and watery, but may include a white or light yellow mucus component.
Do not go to daycare or school or go to work until pink eye has improved. If the pink eye is caused by bacteria, the person can usually return to daycare, school, or work after the infection has been treated for 24 hours with an antibiotic and symptoms are improving.
Viral conjunctivitis. This type of pink eye is very contagious, but usually will clear up on its own within several days without medical treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis. Caused by bacteria, this type of conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated.
The symptoms of pink eye may vary depending on the cause but usually include:
- Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelids.
- Increased amount of tears.
- Eye discharge which may be clear, yellow, white or green.
- Itchy, irritated, and/or burning eyes.
- Gritty feeling in the eye.
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Most viruses that cause conjunctivitis spread through hand-to-eye contact by hands or objects that are contaminated with the infectious virus. Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, fecal matter, or respiratory discharges can contaminate hands.
Diagnosis. A doctor can often determine whether a virus, bacterium, or allergen is causing the conjunctivitis (pink eye) based on patient history, symptoms, and an examination of the eye. It can also sometimes be difficult to diagnose without doing laboratory testing.
You do not need to keep your child out of school or day care for that whole time. Children with bacterial pink eye may return to school or day care 24 hours after starting eye drops or ointment. Children with allergic pink eye are not contagious. Your child may still go to school or day care.
Contagious Pink Eye Treatments. Topical antibiotic ointments or eye drops work to clear up infection in pink eye only if the source is bacterial. In this case, you need up to 24 hours for the eye drops or ointment to start working and for the infected person to no longer be contagious.
For example, bacterial and viral causes of pinkeye are almost always contagious and are spread from person to person. However, pinkeye caused by allergens and chemical irritants is not contagious by person-to-person contact. Pinkeye that is contagious has an incubation period as long as 14 days.
If your pink eye is caused by a common viral infection and no other complications occur, then your eyes should clear up within a few days to two weeks. Pink eye also can be caused by bacterial conjunctivitis, which — even with treatment such as prescription antibiotic eye drops — can last up to a month or longer.
Causes And Types Of Eye Infections. Examples of viral, fungal and bacterial eye infections include: Pink eye, or conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, also called "pink eye," is a common, highly contagious eye infection that often is spread among children in day care centers, classrooms and similar environments.
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) generally remains contagious as long as your child is experiencing tearing and matted eyes. Signs and symptoms of pink eye usually improve within three to seven days. When tearing and matted eyes are no longer present, it's appropriate for a child to return to school or child care.
Conjunctivitis is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions in children and adults. Pink eye caused by bacteria, viruses, or STDs can spread easily from person to person, but it is not a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly; allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
Most cases of pink eye are caused by a virus. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can occur along with colds or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren't cleaned properly or aren't your own can cause bacterial conjunctivitis. Both types are very contagious.
This depends on what caused the pink eye and the conditions of the surface on which it lives. However, most bacteria are not able to survive after 2 to 8 hours, though some last for 2 days or more. Viruses tend to be more hardy, with most surviving 24 to 48 hours. Some viruses can last up to 8 weeks.
Pinkeye that's caused by bacteria can spread to others as soon as symptoms appear and for as long as there's discharge from the eye — or until 24 hours after antibiotics are started. Conjunctivitis that's caused by a virus is generally contagious before symptoms appear and can remain so as long as the symptoms last.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common type of pink eye, caused by bacteria that infect the eye through various sources of contamination. The bacteria can be spread through contact with an infected individual, exposure to contaminated surfaces or through other means such as sinus or ear infections.
If untreated, this condition can lead to corneal ulcers and blindness. Other types of bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments. A warm compress to the eye may also help relieve swelling and irritation. Blocked tear ducts may cause conjunctivitis.
Allergic conjunctivitis is an eye inflammation caused by an allergic reaction to substances like pollen or mold spores. The inside of your eyelids and the covering of your eyeball have a membrane called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is susceptible to irritation from allergens, especially during hay fever season.
You typically can't get rid of viral pink eye, but you can relieve symptoms through remedies such as eye drops containing antihistamines, decongestants or both. You also can relieve symptoms through home remedies such as applying warm or cool compresses — whichever feels better — to the outer, closed eyelids.