Pink Eye

What noninfectious conditions cause pink eye, what are noninfectious pink eye symptoms, and how are they treated? (Part 3)

Underlying diseases

Persistent pink eye (conjunctivitis) can be a sign of an underlying illness in the body. Most often these are rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Conjunctivitis is also seen in Kawasaki's disease (a rare disease associated with fever in infants and young children) and certain inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

Bright redness of the whites of the eyes can also occur when the tiny blood vessels covering the whites of the eyes rupture from trauma or changes in pressure within the head (for example, after forceful laughing or vomiting, when diving under water, or even bending upside down). While it is similar, this condition is called subconjunctival hemorrhage, and while it can appear frightening, it is generally harmless. This condition is different from the inflammation of the conjunctiva seen with pink eye. It causes a local area of the white portion of the eye (the sclera) to become brilliantly reddened. It does not typically involve the colored portion of the eye (the iris) and does not affect vision.

Reviewed on 2/14/2014

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