What Is Red Eye (Pink Eye)?
There are many causes for red eye (pink eye). Rarely is an inflamed eye contagious. The eye may be red secondary to a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, such as a corneal ulcer or a conjunctivitis. In addition, trauma can cause the eye to be red, such as a corneal abrasion or a subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel where the "white" of the eye appears dark red). Allergies, dry eyes, as well as contact lens side effects can all contribute to a red eye. Lastly, intraocular diseases, such as acute glaucoma and uveitis (inflammation within the eye) can lead to redness. The one true "pink eye" that is contagious is termed epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, which is a viral infection where the individual can be contagious for up to 2 weeks.
Treatment for Pink Eye
The treatment for pink (red) eye depends on the cause. There are many treatment options including artificial tears, antibiotic eye drops, anti-inflammatory steroid eye drops, as well as antiglaucoma medications.