Over the counter treatment for Pink Eye, Medication, Pink Eye Contagious?

How do you get pink eye?  Let us know more about the prescribed and over the counter  treatment for pink eye, causes and symptoms. It is the most common eye problem characterized by red and itchy eye. This eye infection is medically called conjunctivitis because the conjunctiva, a transparent film that covers the eyeball and lines under the eyelid, is infected and becomes inflamed. Anyone can get a pink eye as this can be caused by bacteria, virus or allergic reaction. Although conjunctivitis is very irritating, it hardly affects your eyesight. Still, you should never ignore it and take the necessary steps to relieve your discomfort. This is especially important as some types of conjunctivitis are contagious and with prompt treatment, you can prevent it from spreading.

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Pink eye is categorized into three, according to their respective causes such as viral, bacterial and allergic. Let us take a detailed analysis of each type; causes, symptoms and treatment.

Viral Conjunctivitis

This type of pink eye infection is due to the viruses from several ailments such as sore throats, common colds and other respiratory infections. The virus “adenovirus” is known to bring about viral conjunctivitis and this eye infection rapidly spreads out from person to person which may result to an outbreak.


Viral conjunctivitis is usually characterized by watery eyes coupled with watery discharge. In addition, itchiness and discomfort are felt even though these may be limited to one eye. But it can spread to the other eye or affect both at once.


Medication is not necessary with viral pink eye infection except among children wherein it is treated with special conjunctivitis eye drops to relieve the inflammation. Examination of an eye specialist is recommended for proper treatment of viral conjunctivitis in children. In adults, however, the virus is just allowed to proceed its course by up to three weeks; the condition will eventually clear out by itself. But if the doctor figures out that the pink eye is due to the virus herpes simplex, antiviral medications will be prescribed. Yet, there are plenty of over the counter treatment for pink eye available to treat viral conjunctivitis.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when certain types of bacteria such as streptococci and staphylococci intrude the eye.


Bacteria-caused pink eye infection is characterized by watery eyes succeeded by greenish or yellowish discharge. Irritation is also felt along with itching, and the infection may start with just one eye and may transfer to the other or may affect both eyes simultaneously.


Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops and within the next several days, it will disappear. Aside from eye drops, antibiotic ointment may also be used as an alternative for eye drops and usually prescribed by physicians for bacterial conjunctivitis in children. This is especially beneficial to infants with bacterial conjunctivitis as it is very easy to apply compared to eye drops although vision may become blurred for 20 minutes after putting the ointment. It is expected that after several days, the symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis will subside. Remember to fully apply the prescribed dose of antibiotics recommended by the physician to prevent this type of pink eye infection to reoccur.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is induced due to allergic reactions from typical substances like cosmetics, fumes, drugs, air borne chemicals, dust mites and the like. People with allergic conditions have greater chances of getting allergic conjunctivitis.


Allergic conjunctivitis is characterized by itchiness, discomfort and heavy tearing most likely on both eyes.


The physician will usually prescribe a different kind of eye drop especially made for those with allergies. Medications may include anti-inflammatory, decongestants, steroids, mast cell stabilizers and antihistamines to relieve the symptoms. Another effective way of reducing the gravity of symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis is by keeping away from whatever may trigger allergic reaction.

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Pink Eye Pictures

Check out these pink eye pictures of an eye infected through bacterial infection. However, you do not have to worry, there are medication in the form of eye drops and also pills that can treat this problem. Please check with your eye doctor for more information.

Prevention of Pink Eye

The ultimate preventive measure one can do is practice good hygiene. Good hygiene not just spares you from being affected with pink eye but it also helps in preventing the infection to spread out. This primarily involves not sharing face towels most especially to someone affected by conjunctivitis. Also, always wash your hands with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes. Crust and pus must be taken off by washing your eyes with tepid salt water which likewise lessens conjunctivitis symptoms. When drying your watery eyes, wipe them with disposable tissue and throw them right away to reduce contamination. Better yet, never share make up essentials and even eye drops with a family member or friend.

Precautions to avoid Pink Eye

Even if pink eye does not pose any serious danger to vision, but some types are contagious like bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Thus, visit your doctor right away if you’ve figure out that you have pink eye so that treatment will start right away. Besides, if the conjunctivitis symptoms do not subside after following the doctor’s advice, a further examination may be needed to figure out underlying problems. This is especially important if you are wearing contact lenses. There could be a serious infection in the cornea and requires a special kind of treatment.

Is Pink Eye Contagious?

Viral and bacterial pink eye is contagious but allergic pink eye may not be so. It is difficult to tell which type is actually the one you are suffering from, but the allergic pink eye usually goes away in a short time, especially when the allergen is removed and the eyes are rinsed properly. But in case of conjuctivitis caused due to viral or bacterial infection, the spreading is fast.  In fact, it is one of the fastest contagious diseases, that spreads through eye contact or even by using a thing that has been infected by someone who has this infection. For instance,  if someone who has pink eye rubs his eyes and then uses that hand on a computer mouse can infect someone who touches the mouse later. So, this is the way, especially for kids, it is advised to stay at home till the infection is cured, before joining back to school. The other way in which Pink eye is spread is through bathroom wash clothes, towels,  eye makeup etc.

Over the Counter Treatment for Pink Eye

Pink eye treatment consists of over the counter treatment medication and prescription medication.  For bacterial infection, there is a an antibiotic that can treat the bacteria. This bacteria is in the form of eye drops or ointments that should be applied to the eyes for some days. If allergy is the reason for pink, then over the counter pink eye treatment includes eye drops like Patanol, which can be effective with just 2 drops in a day. It is safe for kids over the age of 3 years.  The other medications include antihistamines which are mostly prescribed and not over the counter.  Another pink eye drops that is good is Similasan Allergy Relief, an OTC medicine for pink eye that is good but not so effective. OTC medicines for conjunctivitis help in soothing symptoms.  Warm compresses can also help in remove crusty portion around the eye and sticky residue. But if the problem persists, it is better to check with an eye doctor.

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