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Doctor insights on: Bacterial Pink Eye Vs Viral Pink Eye

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How can I tell if I have viral or bacterial pink eye?

How can I tell if I have viral or bacterial pink eye?

Symptoms: In adults without a history of surgery or trauma, by far the most common infections are viral causing redness, itching, clear-sticky discharge and commonly are bilateral. Bacterial infectious is more flagrant, frequently drops the vision, has pus and much swelling, and commonly is painful. Your ophthalmologist can sort this out for you. ...Read more

Dr. Tim Conrad
599 doctors shared insights

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) (Definition)

"Pink eye" refers to a viral infection of the conjunctiva. These infections are especially contagious among children. Newborns can be infected by bacteria in the birth canal. This condition is called ophthalmia neonatorum, and it must be treated immediately to preserve eyesight. "Pink eye" refers to a viral infection of the conjunctiva. These infections are especially contagious among children. Newborns can be infected by bacteria in the birth canal. This condition is called ophthalmia neonatorum, and it must be treated immediately to preserve eyesight. ...Read more


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How avoid 100% or almost pink eye(viral and bacterial)?

How avoid 100% or almost pink eye(viral and bacterial)?

No immunity: Careful hygiene, hand washing and avoid infected contacts. No proven way to prevent it. ...Read more

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What type of pink eye do I have? Viral or bacterial, but how do you tell the difference?

What type of pink eye do I have? Viral or bacterial, but how do you tell the difference?

Viral: Traditionally "pink eye" is a viral infection and it is highly contagious. You should wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer. You can be contagious for 10-14 days after contracting the virus and can reinfect yourself if you are not careful. Viral infections usually produce "watery" discharge whereas a bacterial infection produces "pus". See your eye doctor for the diagnosis. ...Read more

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How can you tell the difference between viral pink eye, bacterial pink eye, and allergies?

How can you tell the difference between viral pink eye, bacterial pink eye, and allergies?

Some differences: Generally viral pink eye typically produces redness, watery eyes and doesn't need treatment except for herpes. Bacterial pink eye causes redness & purulent discharge (puss), often "matting the lids/lashes together" in the AM or after a long nap -- needs antibiotic drops. Allergies almost always involve both eyes with redness, some watering, & can be quite itchy. Consult doc if you have it. ...Read more

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I think my 2.5 year old has pink eye. Some green discharge, not much redness at all. How do symptoms between viral and bacterial pink eye differ?

I think my 2.5 year old has pink eye.   Some green discharge,  not much redness at all.  How do symptoms between viral and bacterial pink eye differ?

Conjunctivitis: Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically unilateral, one eye, but can be bilateral. There is usually a very significant colored discharge. Viral conjunctivitis is typically a clear, mucousy, discharge, and usually is, or becomes bilateral. And is contagious. Both should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist for proper treatment, which is not the same. ...Read more

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Doctor, my vision has been blurry for quite a while now. Before this I had pink eye and Im not sure if it was bacterial or viral. My eyes are not red?

Doctor, my vision has been blurry for quite a while now. Before this I had pink eye and Im not sure if it was bacterial or viral. My eyes are not red?

Blurry vision: Blurry vision that develops during the day can be caused by dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), allergies and medications, to name a few. Lubricating drops or allergy drops that are preservative free can be used for relief. Changes in vision should prompt a visit to an optometrist for evaluation sooner rather than later. ...Read more

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I had pink eye and now the top eye lid of my eye is swollen, red, and tender? Viral? Bacterial?

I had pink eye and now the top eye lid of my eye is swollen, red, and tender?  Viral?  Bacterial?

Blocked Duct: After any eye infection (allergic, viral, etc) it is not uncommon to see blocked ducts that are located in the eyelid around the eyelashes. This can create what many call a stye but is likely a chalazion or hordeolum. Either way, warm compresses and gentle massage can relieve the clogged duct. You may need antibiotic eye drops if the clogged duct gets infected. For now try the compresses and see. ...Read more

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Post nasal drip nausea for two days.Just woke up with bad pink eye both eyes. Bacterial or viral way to tell? I am 6wk pregnantavoid antib if i can

Conjunctivitis: Your eye symptoms sound more typical of viral conjunctivitis. This will usually resolve in 5-7 days on its own. Antibiotic drops don't help viral infections. If you start to experience vision loss, pain or significant light sensitivity, then you should see your eye physician. ...Read more

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Dr. Jon Fishburn
731 doctors shared insights

Conjunctivitis (Definition)

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin mucous membrane that lines the front surface of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids. As the inflammation increases, it causes the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva to dilate, thus leading to a redness of the eye. Depending on the cause of the conjunctitis there can also be itching, irritation, and discharge ...Read more


Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more