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What Is Pinkeye

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Pinkeye — also called conjunctivitis — is redness and inflammation of the clear membranes covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids. Pinkeye is most often caused by a virus or by a bacterial infection, although allergies, chemical agents, and underlying diseases can also play a role.

What Causes Pinkeye?

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria (such as gonorrhea or chlamydia)
  • Irritants such as shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine
  • Allergies, like dust, pollen, or a special type of allergy that affects some contact lens wearers

What Are the Symptoms of Pinkeye?

The symptoms of pinkeye differ based on the cause of the inflammation, but may include:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light

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