If you have a bacterial infection causing your pink eye, you will usually have very red eyes. You may find crusting on your eyelids that can make them stick together as well as a heavy, pus-like discharge from your eyes that may be greenish at times. This infection may spread to both eyes.

With viral conjunctivitis a very red, swollen eye, crusty eyelids and a more watery discharge is likely. This discharge can also have strands of mucus or white, ropy strands. While many cases of viral pink eye infect only one eye, this infection can also spread to the other eye.

If allergies are causing your conjunctivitis, it will often look similar to viral conjunctivitis. Your eyes will be red and tearing. However, they will also be itchy. It is likely you may have a stuffy, runny or itchy nose as well.

Signs of pink eye

  • Mild eyelid swelling
  • Redness in the white of the eye (conjunctiva) or the inner eyelid
  • Increased tearing, mucous or pus production
  • Eye irritation
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Itchiness of the eye
  • Mild blurred vision due to mucus or pus
  • Crusting of eyelashes in the morning, possibly gluing the eyes shut

Written by
Reviewed by Dr. Elena Jiménez on Feb. 1, 2014

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