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Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) (cont.)

What other conditions mimic pink eye?

An eye can become pink or red because of irritation (for example from chemical exposure or a foreign body) or from an abrasion (scratch) of the eye's surface. Dry eye is another common cause of eye redness. Overuse of decongestant eye drops can produce rebound redness when the decongestant effect wears off. Less common but potentially more serious causes of red eyes include uveitis (inflammation inside the eye, sometimes related to autoimmune disorders), elevated eye pressure (glaucoma), compromised blood supply to the eye (ischemia), and others. A small blood vessel in the conjunctiva can also leak blood that becomes trapped under the conjunctiva. These red "subconjunctival hemorrhages" are sometimes confused with conjunctivitis. They can be associated with trauma, high blood pressure, or blood thinners. They are typically painless and clear up on their own.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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