Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) (cont.)
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What causes pink eye?
Infectious conjunctivitis is most often caused by the same viruses associated with the common cold. Bacteria, fungi, and parasites can also cause infectious conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is also common and can be in response to allergens (irritants) in the air or in products placed directly on or near the eyes (such as eye medications or cosmetics). Several other conditions can give the conjunctiva a pink or red appearance, ranging from dry eye and foreign bodies to vision-threatening conditions such as elevated eye pressure, autoimmune disorders, and circulatory problems. In some cases the eye becomes red secondarily due to a problem in the eyelid such as blepharitis or a stye. Your eye doctor can sort out the cause with a complete eye examination. In newborns and infants, the most common cause of pink eye is bacterial infection, requiring prompt medical treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
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