Symptoms of conjunctivitis (pink eye) can include

  • Pink or red color in the white of the eye(s)
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva (the thin layer that lines the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid) and/or eyelids
  • Increased tear production
  • Feeling like a foreign body is in the eye(s) or an urge to rub the eye(s)
  • Itching, irritation, and/or burning
  • Discharge (pus or mucus)
  • Crusting of eyelids or lashes, especially in the morning
  • Contact lenses that feel uncomfortable and/or do not stay in place on the eye

Depending on the cause, other symptoms may occur.

Viral Conjunctivitis

  • Can occur with symptoms of a cold, flu, or other respiratory infection
  • Usually begins in one eye and may spread to the other eye within days
  • Discharge from the eye is usually watery rather than thick

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

  • More commonly associated with discharge (pus), which can lead to eyelids sticking together
  • Sometimes occurs with an ear infection

Allergic Conjunctivitis

  • Usually occurs in both eyes
  • Can produce intense itching, tearing, and swelling in the eyes
  • May occur with symptoms of allergies, such as an itchy nose, sneezing, a scratchy throat, or asthma

Conjunctivitis Caused by Irritants

  • Can produce watery eyes and mucus discharge