ZocdocAnswersDid my allergies give me pink eye?

Question

Did my allergies give me pink eye?

I have pretty bad hay fever and seasonal allergies, so I scratch and rub my fingers in my eyes a lot. Now I think I'm getting pink eye. Is it from my allergies and rubbing my eyes or is there another cause of pink eye?

Answer

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is triggered by an inflammation of conjunctiva, or the thin, transparent tissue covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner parts of the eyelids that help keep the eyelid and eyeball moist. Pink eye is actually a very common but treatable eye complaint. Although maddeningly annoying, it usually is not serious and goes away in 7-10 days. However, conjunctivitis may be serious if you have an impaired immune system or if you wear contact lenses. Conjunctivitis is caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergy-provoking agents, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as well as the underlying diseases within the body. Frequent causes of an allergic pink eye include seasonal pollens, animal dander, and dust. Although allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious, it is important to find out whether or not your pink eye is caused by allergies so that appropriate treatment can be used. Do you have accompanied symptoms, such as intense itching, redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid, increased amount of tears, swelling of the eye membranes, and blurred vision, but pain is minimal or absent? Either way, a visit with a primary care physician is recommended. The doctor can diagnose you accurately, and prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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