CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Bacterial conjunctivitis
- Corneal abrasion (rubbing off of the very top layers of the cornea, the transparent cover of your eye)
- Corneal herpetic infections (herpes)
- Corneal ulcers
- Dry eyes
- Episcleritis (inflammation of the membrane covering the white part of the eye)
- Foreign object in eye
- Hay fever
- Orbital cellulitis (severe infection of tissues around the eye)
- Scleritis (inflammation of the white part of the eye)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel in eye)
- Viral conjunctivitis
"Pink eye" is a term commonly used to describe red eye and refers to both viral and bacterial infections of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis). It can also have other causes, such as allergy.
Pink eye caused by a virus may involve clear discharge or some amount of pus and mucous discharge.
Pink eye caused by bacteria is more common in children than adults and may involve a more continuous and thicker discharge of pus and mucus.
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Jacobs DS. Evaluation of the red eye. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 3, 2010.
- Koby M. Conjunctivitis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/book/player/book.do?method=display&type=aboutPage&decorator=header&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&uniq=210978719. Accessed Sept. 3, 2010.