Pink Eye or conjunctivitis is a
common eye infection that causes
the conjunctiva, or the clear membrane
that covers the white part of the
eye and the inner surface of the
eyelids, to inflame. The inflammation
causes the tiny blood vessels in
the conjunctiva to darken which
makes the eyes appear to be bloodshot.
Pink Eye should not be confused
with iritis, or the inflammation
of the iris that also leads to reddening
of the eye.
Causes and Risk Factors
Eye is commonly caused by bacterial
infection. However, it can also
be caused by viral infection or
Pink Eye: Bacterial
Pink Eye is caused by pyogenic,
or pus producing, bacteria
such as Staphylococcus (staph)
or Streptococcus (strep).
This infection can be contracted
when the patient comes into
contact with infected individuals,
environmental factors or by
using poor quality or expired
Pink Eye: Viral Pink
Eye is typically associated
with upper respiratory tract
infection and it is spread
by aerosol or by contact with
a number of contagious viruses,
including the viruses that
cause the common cold. Susceptibility
to this infection increases
during winter and rainy months
because of the increase in
Pink Eye: Pink Eye
can also be caused by allergies.
Allergies may result from
pollen, grass and ragweed,
pollution, smoke, animal dander,
dust mites, and irritants
such as shampoos and cosmetics.
Pink Eye that affects contact
lens wearers is called Giant
Papillary Pink Eye (GPC) and
it is typically caused by
an allergic reaction to protein
deposits on contact lenses.
Pink Eye: Chemical
Pink Eye is caused by irritants
such as smoke, liquids, fumes,
or chemicals in the eye. Immediately
rinse the eye with running
water to remove the toxic
chemical or liquid.
and Viral Pink Eye are considered to
be contagious and can be caused by touching
the infected person or by touching anything
that comes into contact with the infected
person, such as a tissue or a towel.
Someone who has Pink Eye in one eye
can also inadvertently spread it to
the other eye by touching the infected
eye and then touching the uninfected
one. Pink Eye that is caused by allergens
or irritants is not contagious.