Skip to main content

Here are some of the symptoms to look out for if you or someone you know may be suffering from conjunctivitis.

​Conjunctivitis, that irritating eye infection that’s also known as “pinkeye can be painful, unsightly and inconvenient. One of the best ways to manage pinkeye is to catch it early by knowing the signs and symptoms:

​Telltale red or pink appearance. Conjunctivitis is called pinkeye because of the unmistakable pink tinge of an infected eye. Other conditions can cause eyes to look red or bloodshot like tiredness, allergies and more. While the reddish appearance alone might not be the result of conjunctivitis, watch for other symptoms. 

  • Swelling. Also like allergies, pinkeye can cause the eyelids and tear ducts to swell. A puffy appearance could be a sign of the infection and swelling can also lead to heightened sensitivity or tenderness to the touch.
    Itching and burning. The previous two symptoms could be the result of many different eye conditions, but when paired with itching and burning, there's a good chance you could have conjunctivitis.
  • Excess tearing. Because conjunctivitis puts pressure on structures in the eye, you might find yourself releasing tears.
  • Discharge. In addition to tears, pinkeye sufferers might release discharge that is either clear, white or green. After sleep this can form a crust that is painful or unpleasant to clean.
  • Blurred vision and heightened sensitivity to light. These physical symptoms can lead to temporary vision problems if eyesight​ is obstructed by tears, discharge and swelling.

Pinkeye is a temporary condition that should run its course with proper care and management in seven to 10 days. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to book an appointment with your eye doctor if any of these conditions becomes extreme. The best way to prevent pinkeye is to practice good hygiene like hand-washing and to avoid contact with infected people until their conjunctivitis clears. Taking the appropriate steps to prevent the spread of pinkeye can ensure that the discomfort remains as contained as possible.

See your eye doctor if you have any of the symptoms of pinkeye. Your eye doctor will conduct an exam of your eyes and may use a cotton swab to take a sample of fluid from the eyelid to be analyzed in a lab. Bacteria or viruses that may have caused conjunctivitis can then be identified and proper treatment prescribed.
Kelsey-Seybold optometrists and ophthalmologists care for children and adults at convenient locations throughout Houston. To schedule an appointment, call our 24-hour Contact Center at 713-442-EYES (3937).​​