When It's an Emergency

Causes And Treatment Of Pink Eye

If you think you have pink eye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, then an urgent care center is a good place to get treated. Pink eye is an irritating infection that can cause chronic problems if it gets severe and is not treated. Plus, different kinds of of pink eye are contagious. Here is more information about pink eye in general and the different contagious and non-contagious types.

Common Pink Eye Symptoms

Symptom severity depends on what type of pink eye you have. Most types of pink eye involve red, itchy eyes with watery discharge or think mucus. Some types also cause pain around the eye. You may also notice swelling under the conjunctiva, the area under the eyelid closest to the eyeball. Sometimes, pink eye makes you feel like you have dirt in your eye.

Types and Causes of Pink Eye

Pink eye has three basic types and causes.


Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergens. Pollution and chemical irritation can also be placed in this category. This type of pink eye is not contagious and often very mild. Often, it goes away on its own once the irritant is removed.


Bacterial conjunctivitis is highly contagious and commonly caused by a staph infection. It is easily transmitted through sharing makeup or rubbing your eyes with unclean hands. Most people have a severe reaction with extremely red eyes and thick drainage.


Viral conjunctivitis is commonly associated with respiratory diseases such as the cold or the flu. It is often spread through coughing and sneezing. You can also get it by touching your eyes after touching an infected surface.

Treatment of Pink Eye

If you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them if you think you might have pink eye. Your doctor may advise you to use cold or warm compresses and artificial tears. If your allergic conjunctivitis is severe, then antihistamines and eye drops designed for allergies could help you get relief. For severe bacterial infections, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. For certain types of viral infections, antiviral medications are prescribed. But most types of viral pink eye diminish after the virus goes away.

Pink eye is an irritating, potentially contagious eye infection that can cause problems if not treated. If you suspect you have pink eye or any type of severely red and irritated eyes, then see a doctor right away. Urgent care centers are set up and treat pink eye and are especially convenient if your regular doctor is unavailable. Look for an urgent care center in your town.