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Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) (cont.)

How is pink eye diagnosed?

A thorough eye examination is important to narrow down the cause of pink eye. Clues that help determine the cause include a history of exposure to other people with pink eye or a recent cold (which would suggest a contagious virus), contact lens wear (raising concern for both bacteria and fungi), the type of discharge, the presence or absence of blurred vision and light sensitivity, recent exposure to chemicals or a foreign body, and any associated medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, as well as eye diseases such as glaucoma, uveitis, and more).

The doctor will look for additional clues on the examination. Examples of other findings might include presence of a foreign body or abrasion, swelling and small bumps on the back of the lids that are typically seen with allergy, keratitis (conditions affecting the cornea), and dry eye, among others. In some cases of suspected infection, cultures may be helpful in identifying the organism.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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