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

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Yale Kanter
Ophthalmology

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Yale Kanter
Dr. Yale Kanter
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