Pinkeye - Topic Overview
Bacterial pinkeye may cause more drainage than viral pinkeye.
Bacterial infections usually last 7 to 10 days without antibiotic treatment and
2 to 4 days with antibiotic treatment. The person can usually return to day care,
school, or work 24 hours after an
antibiotic has been started if symptoms have improved.
Prescription antibiotic treatment usually kills the bacteria that cause
Red eye is a more
general term that includes not only pinkeye but also many other problems that
cause redness on or around the eye, not just the lining. Pinkeye is the main
cause of red eye. Red eye has other causes, including:
- Foreign bodies, such as metal or insects. For
more information, go to the topic
Objects in the Eye.
- Scrapes, sores, or
injury to or infection of deeper parts of the eye (for example, uveitis,
iritis, or keratitis). For more information, go to the topic
Glaucoma. For more information, go to
Eye Problems, Noninjury or
- Infection of the eye socket and
areas around the eye. For more information, go to the topic
Eye Problems, Noninjury.
Swollen, red eyelids may also be caused by
styes, a lump called a
chalazion, inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis), or lack of tears (dry eyes). For more
information, go to the topics
Styes and Chalazia or
Eyelid Problems (Blepharitis).
Check Your Symptoms section to decide if and when you should see a