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Doctor insights on: Can You Tell Me The Difference Between The Symptoms Of Pink Eye And Those Of Eye Allergies

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Can you tell me the difference between the symptoms of pink eye and those of eye allergies?

Can you tell me the difference between the symptoms of pink eye and those of eye allergies?

Discharge matters: Allergic conjunctivitis causes severe itchiness and tearing with little discharge. Viral "pink eye" is characterized by mucous or thicker discharge, mattering of the eyelashes especially in the morning and a generalized sense of eye discomfort rather than a primarily itchy feeling. ...Read more

Dr. Tim Conrad
621 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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Could I tell the difference between pink eye, irritated eye, and allergy eye?

Could I tell the difference between pink eye, irritated eye, and allergy eye?

Not really: Those 3 are very similar when it comes to symptoms, however on an eye exam, they are very different. Usually the primary care doctors give anti allergy drops for all 3 and if it doesn't work them they send it to an eye doctor. However, keep in mind that pink eye is contagious, so you want to get an accurate 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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Pink eye or allergies, how can I tell the difference?

Pink eye or allergies, how can I tell the difference?

Sometimes difficult: This is sometimes difficult even for experts. Generally allergies have more itching than pink eye and occur in people have allergic symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and so forth. You can try over-the-counter antihistamine drops such as zaditor (ketotifen). If this does not help, see an ophthalmologist. ...Read more

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What is the difference between allergies and pink eye?

What is the difference between allergies and pink eye?

Both eyes vs 1 eye: Not a hard fast rule but usually allergies affect both eyes at the same time and is intensely itchy. Viral or bacterial conjunctivitis usually affects one eye first and not that itchy. An infected eye also may produce mucous or pus like secretions. ...Read more

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Pink eye or cold and allergy eye symptoms - what are the differences?

Red eye: Pink eye is usually due to a bacterial infection, the lids get mattery, crusty, and stuck shut.
Allergies make the surface of the eye red and produce a clear watery discharge, and is usually associated with some itching, and if you rub the eye you can get it secondarily infected and end up with a pink eye condition in addition. A cold is associated with a clear discharge and it can be infected. ...Read more

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How are the symptoms of pink eye and those of eye allergies distinguished from each other?

How are the symptoms of pink eye and those of eye allergies distinguished from each other?

Similar: Both can have similar symptoms. Ophthalmologists often look for the presence of inflammed lymph nodes for conjunctivitis. Allergy follows a different pattern in terms of symptoms and can cause much more itching. Both can create watery irritated eyes. Your local eye specialist can help. ...Read more

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How to know if I have pink eye or just an allergy?

How to know if I have pink eye or just an allergy?

A few clues to this: Pink eye is an infection with rapid onset, usually in one eye and then spreading to the other with a clear discharge and a sensation of sandy eye feeling. Allergy is episodic, seasonal, usually both eyes, with itching and sometimes lid swelling. Neither usually affect the vision. Sometimes the symptoms overlap. You might need an ophthalmologist to make the distinction. ...Read more

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What can I do to ease the pain of pink eye due to allergies?

Allerg conjunctivits: You state you have allergic conjunctivitis. First, prevention is huge. If you know what sets you off and it is avoidable, like staying away from cats, etc, then do that. Next, use cool compresses on your eyes 5-10 minutes each hour. Artificial tears may also feel good. Then, get treatment. A prescription anti-allergy drop like Patanol (olopatadine) will go a long way in relieving symptoms. Avoid rubbing eyes. ...Read more

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How do doctors determine if it's pink eye or allergies?

Timecourse: "pink eye, " or viral conjunctivitis, typically runs it's course in 7-10 days. Allergic conjunctivitis is more chronic. Both result in red, itchy eyes. To confirm the diagnosis, and to be sure it isn't something more serious, you should see an ophthalmologist. ...Read more

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Need help when my pink eye is over, can I use OTC eyedrops for allergies?

Need help when my pink eye is over, can I use OTC eyedrops for allergies?

Yes.: There is no contraindication of using allergy drops after a pink eye. However, pink eye may lead to some dry eye symptoms, and allergy drops may exacerbate dry eyes as well. Otc artificial tears may help if this occurs. ...Read more

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Hi docs, is it possible to treat eye allergies and pink eye at the same time?

Yes, but: Usual treatment is to clear up the pink eye first using antibiotics (assuming this is your term for infection) then use an allergy drop for alonger period of time until the allergy improves ...Read more

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My right eye is watery and swollen. It feels scratchy like it has sand in it. Could this be pink eye or just allergies which I also currently have?

My right eye is watery and swollen. It feels scratchy like it has sand in it. Could this be pink eye or just allergies which I also currently have?

Infection likely: Although allergy can cause the symptoms you describe, they usually are present in both eyes. The feeling of sandiness is more likely associated with infection rather than allergy. ...Read more

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My 2 year old eyes are red, I don't think it's a pink eye because it doesn't have crust on it just red and itchy...she has allergies?

My 2 year old eyes are red, I don't think it's a pink eye because it doesn't have crust on it just red and itchy...she has allergies?

Itchy Allergic: The itchiness you describe and bilateral (two sided) nature, as well as the time of year certainly would be associated with allergic cause. She is old enough for claritin (loratadine) 5 mg reditab as a trial medicine. If she's not better within the week, I'd have her looked at by her pediatrician or we are happy to consult here on prime! ...Read more

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My 8 month old daughter has green snot coming from both eyes. Teacher says its not pink eye and yo look up home remedies. Any advice? Allergies maybe?

My 8 month old daughter has green snot coming from both eyes. Teacher says its not pink eye and yo look up home remedies. Any advice? Allergies maybe?

Conjunctivitis?: It is unlikely a teacher is qualified to diagnose conjunctivitis (pink eye). Not all cases actually have the redness behind the name pink eye -- the presence of green material in her eyes is just as important. Take her to the pediatrician, and in the meantime keep her out of day care or other contact with children outside the family. Good luck! ...Read more

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My daughter's left eye is itchy and watery and the skin around it is red, but no discharge. Allergies or possible start of pink eye?

My daughter's left eye is itchy and watery and the skin around it is red, but no discharge. Allergies or possible start of pink eye?

Many possibilities: It is April and allergy season is here, it is possible to be allergies although you would expect both eyes to be affected. Possible eye injury or also possible infectious conjunctivitis ...Read more

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Eye Problem, Accidentally have been using antibiotic tobramycin "pink eye" drops for general dry/allergy eye issues - Can this hurt my eyes?

Eye Problem, Accidentally have been using antibiotic tobramycin "pink eye" drops for general dry/allergy eye issues - Can this hurt my eyes?

Unlikely: It is unlikely that the drops you put in your eye will lead to any problem, as it is meant for the eye. It certainly won't help your allergy symptoms, but it shouldn't cause any harm. The most common side effects of Gentamicin eye drops are stinging, burning, redness or temporary blurred vision. ...Read more

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Had allergies first then turn into cough then bad sinus infection, then pink eye in both eyes. Left side of thoat almost swell shut and painful.

Had allergies first then turn into cough then bad sinus infection, then pink eye in both eyes. Left side of thoat almost swell shut and painful.

Consult your Doctor: I think it is about time you consult your doctor as you seem to have eye infection, sinus infection and throat infection possibly along with allergies. It needs to be evaluated by your physician and get appropriate therapy. Do not smoke. ...Read more

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Can you tell me the difference between sty and pink eye?

Can you tell me the difference between sty and pink eye?

Eye vs eyelid: Pink eye is a viral or bacterial infection of the surface of the eye and mucus membranes lining the eyelids (conjunctiva). A stye is an infected eyelash follicle and presents as a red, painful bump on the eyelid. ...Read more

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Can you tell me the difference between pink eye and a regular eye infection?

Can you tell me the difference between pink eye and a regular eye infection?

Conjunctivitis: Pink eye is the colloquial term implying a viral conjunctivitis. Thus this type of eye infection is more contagious, but regular eye infection can include all conjunctivitis types such as viral, bacterial, allergic, etc. ...Read more

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What can you do to tell the difference between types of pink eye?

Eye exam: An eye exam is the best way. Most pink eye or conjunctivitis is viral. Viral tends to have a watery discharge. Less common is bacterial, which tends to have a thicker discharge and more crusting of the lids. ...Read more

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How do you tell the difference between a pink eye and a eye tthat just has been irradiated?

No one answer: Pink eye is a catch all for when the eye looks red from virus, to bacteria, to allergy or just dryness. ...Read more

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How can you tell difference between a sty and pink eye?

How can you tell difference between a sty and pink eye?

Here's how: In conjunctivitis, or pink eye, the whites of the eye get more red or injected. With styes, or chalazion, the eyelid is also affected. ...Read more

Dr. John Chiu
2,638 Doctors shared insights

Allergies (Definition)

Allergies occur when your immune system is triggered by envirionmental factors it should ignore--for example, pollen in the air, or dander on a cat or dog--and creates cells to fight against them. An allergic reaction typically causes itching, congestion, or drainage, and ...Read more


Dr. Jon Fishburn
761 Doctors shared insights

Conjunctivitis (Definition)

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 tiny blood vessels to dilate, thus leading to a ...Read more