Pink Eye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is an infection or inflammation of the transparent membrane (called conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball.  The inflammation of the small blood vessels in the conjunctive is what makes your eyes to appear reddish or pink.

Pink eye is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection or allergic reaction.  In babies pink eye can also be caused by an incompletely opened tear duct.

While pink eye can be irritating, it rarely affects your vision and treatments can help ease the discomfort.  Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to help limit the spread because pink eye can be very contagious.

The most common pink eye symptoms include:

  • Redness in one or both eyes
  • Itchiness in one or both eyes
  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
  • Tearing

You should seek care as soon as any of the above symptoms occur.  There are serious eye conditions that can cause eye redness. These conditions may cause eye pain, a feeling that something is stuck in your eye (foreign body sensation), blurred vision and light sensitivity.

People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don't start to get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don't have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.


Baby & Child Associates
9140 Ward Parkway, Suite 201  •  Kansas City, Missouri 64114  •  816-523-0066