Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How is pink eye treated?"

ZocdocAnswersHow is pink eye treated?


My girlfriend had pink eye and now I think I might have it too. How is it treated? Do I need eye drops or something? We broke up and now she won?t tell me how to fix it because she is mad at me!


Pink eye (also medically known as conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of conjunctiva, which is the thin, transparent tissue covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner parts of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis is maddeningly annoying but is not serious and usually goes away on its own in 7-10 days. However, pink eye may be serious if you have impaired immune system or if you wear contact lenses. Conjunctivitis is caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergy provoking agents, as well as a cause of an underlying disease within the body. It is either infectious or noninfectious. From your describing about how you might have gotten your pink eye, it may be infectious condition that is either viral or bacterial and spreads very easily. If your conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, it usually affects only one eye, which has excessive watering and a light discharge. There is usually no medical treatment for a viral conjunctivitis, but the symptoms should begin to improve, typically in 3 to 5 days. However, if it is caused by a herpes virus, which is rare, it can be treated with an antiviral medication. On the other hand, a bacterial conjunctivitis often spreads to both eyes and causes a heavy discharge, sometimes greenish. It is treated with prescription antibiotic eye drops, which usually kill the bacteria after 24 hours. To pinpoint the cause of your pink eye and then choose an appropriate treatment, I would suggest that you schedule a visit with a primary care physician.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.