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Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane under the eyelid and over the white part of the eye) membranes become mildly to severely inflamed and reddened thus the name, pink eye. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, or other irritants. Children are commonly affected because they touch their eyes with their hands so frequently. It is very contagious (easy to get from someone who has it}. Risk increases with children, those who wear lenses and contact with someone who has been infected.
Yes we can diagnose the problem by inspecting the eyes. We will determine if the infection is bacterial, viral, or from some other irritant. We can prescribe antibiotic drops for the eyes (for bacterial conjunctivitis). Viral conjunctivitis will not go away with an antibiotic.
It can last as long as 4-6 weeks.
Good hygiene is the number one way to prevent pink eye. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently, and to not touch their eyes with their hands.