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"Could I have pink eye?"

ZocdocAnswersCould I have pink eye?


I am a 22 year old female and my right eye has been irritating me for the last few days. It has been really watery, itchy, red and discharge builds up and appears overnight. I don’t usually touch my eyes except for when I wash my face every morning, however I have worn some cosmetic color contacts for the first time a week ago.


While it is entirely possible that you have acquired infectious pink eye, it is also possible that the irritation from wearing the new contacts is the cause of your red eye. Because the problem began so soon after using the colored contacts, the best source for more information will be the person who prescribed the colored contacts (either an optometrist or ophthalmologist), as they will need to know that there was a potential reaction so that they can advise you further. Additionally, he or she would be able to confirm whether the contacts were the cause or not, and then recommend treatment as appropriate, and further testing if needed to rule out more serious problems than just pink eye. Conjunctivitis (the medical name for when the white part of your eye, the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed, which is commonly known as pink eye) can either be infectious (caused by either a bacteria or a virus) or it can be caused by something else, such as an allergy. When it is infectious in origin, it is usually the virus that is the cause. This, unfortunately, means that antibiotics are useless, and you just need to wait for the redness and itching to resolve by themselves, which usually takes about the same amount of time as it takes to get over the common cold.

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