PINK EYE  (Conjunctivitis)

Below is a summary of this viral infection. To protect the health of others, watch for early warning signs and symptoms. If you suspect that your child may have pink eye you must keep them home. We recommend that you consult your physician.

Anyone diagnosed with pink eye must be treated and free from symptoms before returning to school.

What is “pink eye”?

Pink eye or conjunctivitis refers to a redness or irritation of the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes (conjuctiva) covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy- provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents, as well as to underlying diseases within the body. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood but can occur in people of any age. Overall however, there are many causes of pink eye. These can be classified as either infectious or noninfectious.

What infections cause pink eye and how are they treated?

Viral Pink Eye

The leading cause of a red eye is virus infection. Viral pink eye symptoms and signs are usually associated with more of a watery discharge, not green or yellow in color, and is frequently associated with viral “cold-like” symptoms. The eyelids may be swollen. Sometimes looking at bright lights is painful. While viral pink eye may not require an antibiotic, those affected should see a doctor, as occasionally this form of pink eye can be associated with infection of the cornea, (the clear portion of the front of the eyeball). This infection must be correctly detected and treated. Viral pink eye is highly contagious. Viral pink eye usually resolves in seven to ten days after symptoms appear.

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