Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is characterized by reddening of the conjunctiva of the eyes, discharge from the eyes, and can be accompanied by other signs of infection like sinus congestion and runny nose. The eyelids may also be swollen.
Causes of pinkeye (conjunctivitis)
Pinkeye can be caused either by infectious or noninfectious processes. When infections are responsible, most cases are due to viral infections. Viruses likely to cause pinkeye include adenovirus, herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum, vaccinia), picornavirus (enterovirus 70, Coxsackie A24), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Bacterial infections can also cause pinkeye symptoms, however. Staphylococci and streptococci are types of bacteria that commonly cause pinkeye, although gonococci and Chlamydia trachomatis may also cause bacterial pinkeye.
Allergic reactions are one cause of noninfectious pinkeye. Irritation, from chemical vapors, smoke, dust, or other fumes may cause noninfectious pinkeye.
Yeung, Karen K. "Bacterial Conjunctivitis." Medscape.com. Apr. 18, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1191730-overview>.
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