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Pinkeye - Topic Overview

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, see 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, see the topic Eye Injuries.
  • Glaucoma. For more information, see the topics Eye Problems, Noninjury and Glaucoma.
  • Infection of the eye socket and areas around the eye. For more information, see 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, see the topics Styes and Chalazia and Eyelid Problems (Blepharitis).

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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