The length of pink eye is based on the type and how it is treated. Generally, the condition clears on its own in a few days to weeks.
What are the types?
- Viral – this is caused by viruses such as herpes virus and adenovirus. In most cases, it settles without treatment in 7-14 days.
- Bacterial – caused by an infection with the streptococcus pneumonia or staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
It is important to note that pink eye is highly contagious if symptoms such as redness, crusting or tearing are present.
Both bacterial and viral pink eye causes the same general symptoms such as:
- Reddish or pinkish color in the white part of the eyes
- Itchy or scratchy sensation in the eye
- Irritation or burning sensation
- Crusting of the lashes or eyelids especially in the morning
- Drainage from the eye
Remember though that there are certain differences between the 2 types that you should be familiar with.
- Starts in one eye but can spread to the other eye
- Watery discharge from the eye
- Starts with common cold or other respiratory infection
- Start as a respiratory infection or ear infection
- Affects one or both eyes
- Dense discharge that causes the eyes to stick together
Management of pink eye
In most cases of viral and bacterial pink eye, it settles without requiring treatment in a few days to 2 weeks.
Some of the measures to alleviate the symptoms include:
- Apply artificial tears or a lubricating eye drop to prevent dryness.
- Apply a warm or cold compress on the affected eye to lessen the swelling
- Clean any discharge from the eye using tissue or a moist washcloth
In severe cases of pink eye, the doctor might suggest the following drugs:
- Antiviral drugs are given if the cause is herpes simplex or varicella-zoster virus
- An antibiotic eye drops or one in ointment form can be given to allow severe cases of bacterial pink eye to subside