Pink Eye Treatment and Symptoms

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Pink Eye Treatment and Symptoms

Pink eye is a common condition in both adults and children. While it is highly contagious, it is easily treated and isn’t likely to damage your vision. It is most frequently spread through hand-to-eye contact.

At Perfect Health, our experienced medical providers diagnose and treat pink eye. We’ll help relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better - fast. 

What is Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Conjunctivitis (also called pink eye) is the inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin, clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye. It also lines the inside of your eyelid.

There are small blood vessels in the conjunctiva (which are sometimes visible even when it is not inflamed). Inflammation or infection makes these blood vessels even more visible. When this happens, your eyes can appear pink or reddish - giving the condition its name.

Causes of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

There are many different causes of pink eye. The most common causes are viral, bacterial and allergens. It can also be caused by irritants. Here, we describe each of these causes to help you understand the condition, how it’s treated, and how you can prevent the spread.

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Viral strains of pink eye are the most common and the most easily spread. The first symptom you may notice is that your eye is tearing and watering a lot. This can happen before the eye becomes red. You may even feel a swollen lymph node along your jawline.

Viral pink eye can happen as a result of a cold, sore throat or upper respiratory infection. It also spreads easily to the other eye, especially when the discharge spreads to the other eye or if you rub the inflamed eye and touch your other eye.


Bacterial pink eye is another common type of infection of the conjunctiva. It is caused by a bacterial infection like strep, staph infections and (less commonly) sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. It can also occur if you do not clean your contact lenses properly. The most common sign of bacterial pink eye is green discharge or mucus from the eye.

Bacterial pink eye infections tend to be more common in children compared to adults. These infections are spread easily at school or daycare settings when children come in contact with another child with pink eye, and then share toys or school supplies.

Bacterial infections are diagnosed most often in the winter months, from December through April. 


Allergies can also make the conjunctiva red and inflamed. This type of irritation is not contagious. It happens when your body produces an antibody to fight pollen in the body (mistakenly believing it is an infection.)

This antibody triggers a release of histamine in your airway and mast cells in your eyes. This release can lead to red or pink, itchy and watery eyes. Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis includes allergy eye drops and medication to control other symptoms, like a runny nose or sore throat caused by allergies.


Certain irritants can cause the conjunctiva to become red and inflamed. This type of conjunctivitis is not contagious. The most common irritants include smoke, dust and fumes from chemicals (including some household cleaners). It can also be caused by wearing contact lenses too long.

The best way to prevent the spread of pink eye is to avoid touching your eye. You should also wash your hands frequently. Try to avoid sharing household items, like towels and blankets, until your doctor says it’s safe.

Symptoms of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

The symptoms of pink eye can vary based on the type of pink eye you have. The most common include:
  • Pink or red eyes (one or both)
  • Watery eyes that tear more than usual
  • Yellow, white or green discharge
  • Discharge that crusts over the eyelashes
  • Difficulty opening the eyes when you wake up
  • Burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen conjunctiva

Diagnosing Pink Eye

Only a certified medical provider can diagnose pink eye. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take your medical history. If you have other symptoms, such as a sore throat and fever, you may need other tests to determine the cause of your pink eye.

Perfect Health has an onsite laboratory [LINK TO LAB PAGE], making it easy to get a fast and accurate diagnosis of your illness.

Treatment of Pink Eye

Pink eye is easily treated. Your doctor will recommend a treatment that’s appropriate for the cause of your irritation, whether it be viral, bacterial, allergen or irritant. Treatment may include:
  • Eye drops to relieve symptoms
  • Antibiotics to kill bacterial infections
  • Preventing the spread of infection
  • Carefully washing irritants from the eyes and avoiding future exposure
  • Allergy medication

Can I go to Urgent Care for Pink Eye?

Yes, you can go to urgent care for pink eye. Our providers at Perfect Health Urgent Care have experience diagnosing and treating pink eye - regardless of its cause. Convenient evening and weekend hours make it easy to get the care you need.

Our services include treating a wide range of injuries and illness, including:
  • Strep throat
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sprains and strains
  • Minor cuts and burns
  • And more
Learn more about our services.

Can You get Medicine for Pink Eye Over the Counter?

Certain over-the-counter eye drops and medication may help relieve some of your symptoms, but you should see a doctor to understand what’s causing your eye irritation. A doctor can rule out bacterial infections that require a prescription. Some prescription medications, including eye drops, may be more effective at treating your medical condition. 

How Much Does it Cost to Treat Pink Eye?

Pink eye is a relatively inexpensive condition to treat. You will just need to pay for your doctor’s visit, any lab test and medication. Urgent care copays can be as low as $10-30 with insurance. And if you don’t have insurance, we’ll share the cost of your care upfront so there are no surprises. We offer cash discounts and payment plans.

You can also become a member of Perfect Health to receive discounted care that’s easy to budget. Learn more about membership options.

Should I go to the clinic for pink eye?

Yes, you should go to the clinic to have pink eye diagnosed and treated - whether it’s viral or bacterial. A provider at a clinic, doctor’s office or urgent care can keep your condition from creating serious side effects, including vision damage.

Perfect Health offers three convenient locations to help you, including in Augusta, Evans and Grovetown. 

Perfect Health Urgent Care - Augusta

3324 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta GA 30906

Perfect Health Urgent Care - Evans

4244 Washington Road, Evans GA 30809

Perfect Health Urgent Care - Grovetown

307 W Robinson Avenue, Grovetown GA 30813

Walk in Today. No Appointment Necessary.

Our Hours: Monday-Sunday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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