Does Pink Eye Go Away On Its Own?

December 30, 2022

Does Pink Eye Go Away On Its Own?

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a very common condition. It’s an infection or an inflammation of the thin clear membrane of the eye. The infection can be viral or bacterial, and pink eye is highly contagious. Pink eye is also sometimes caused by allergies. Both adults and children can get pink eye but it can spready rapidly in schools so it’s not unusual for kids to get it during the school year. Pink eye will sometimes go away on its own if it’s caused by a viral infection but in other cases medication may be needed.

Pink Eye Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of pink eye is constant tearing of the affected eye. Usually pink eye affects only one eye, so if you have one eye that looks pink or red and is constantly watering you could very well have pink eye. Other symptoms of pink eye include:

  • Redness in the white of your eye or inner eyelid.
  • Increased tearing.
  • Thick yellow discharge that crusts over your eyelashes, especially after sleep.
  • Green or white discharge from your eye.
  • Gritty feeling in one or both eyes.
  • Itchy eyes (especially in pink eye caused by allergies).
  • Burning eyes (especially in pink eye caused by chemicals and irritants).
  • Blurred vision.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Swollen eyelids

You may have just one or two of these symptoms or you may have all of them.

When To Seek Medical Care

If you have just a mild case of pink eye it will go away on its own, usually in about a week. Pink eye that is caused by a virus also will usually go away on its own. Typically pink eye will start to clear up after about three days and will be gone in about seven days.

However, if your symptoms are severe and they are interfering with your ability to function or if your child has severe symptoms that are painful you should go to urgent care. If the pink eye is caused by a virus no medication will cure it but there are things that can be done to reduce the intensity of the symptoms and make you or your child more comfortable. If the pink eye is caused by an allergy or bacterial infection medication may help.

Treatment Options at Urgent Care

At urgent care an experienced doctor can assess your pink eye and determine the cause with some tests and with knowledge based on experience. If the cause is bacterial you may need a prescription anti-bacterial cream that can reduce the inflammation and help heal the eye faster. When you or your child has a red or irritate eye that is constantly watering come to urgent care for some relief.

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