Pinkeye (or conjunctivitis)
of the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It can be caused by
irritating substances, or infection from a
Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but others need treatment with antibiotics.
When pinkeye is caused by an infection, it can be spread easily from person to person.
Signs and Symptoms
discomfort or feeling like something is in the eye
redness of the eye and inner eyelid
watery or pus-like liquid seeping from the eye
lashes matted or stuck together upon waking up
itchiness and tearing (common with allergic pinkeye)
What to Do
Call your doctor, particularly for a newborn. If it looks like a bacterial infection,
treatment may include antibiotic drops or ointment.
Carefully clean the eye area with warm water and gauze or cotton balls.
Gently put cool compresses on the eye.
If your doctor suggests it, give acetaminophen
or ibuprofen to relieve
discomfort (check label instructions for the correct amount). Don't give ibuprofen
to an infant younger than 6 months old.
Get Medical Care if Your Child:
shows no improvement in 2 or 3 days if treated, or a week if untreated
has eye redness that gets worse
has increasing swelling of the eyelids
complains of severe pain
has any change in vision
also has ear pain (pinkeye and ear
infections can happen at the same time)
Wash hands well and
often, especially after touching eyes. Don't share eye ointment, washcloths, towels,
and pillowcases. Talk to your doctor if itchy, watery, or red eyes are a frequent
problem — allergies might be the cause.
If some household things seem to irritate the eyes, try: