What to Do if You Think You Have Pinkeye
Medical Author: Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS
Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Every day, I, as an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases) receive at least one telephone call from a patient who says, "I think I have pinkeye." When I ask him or her what the symptoms are, he usually will tell me that one or both eyes are red, tearing, itching, and uncomfortable. I will then ask him to come in for an examination that day.
Pinkeye is a nonmedical term which is commonly used by patients to describe conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the transparent covering of the white of the eye and inside of the eyelids). I consider pinkeye as synonymous with viral conjunctivitis, an infection caused by a variety of viruses in the eye.