Pink eye or conjunctivitis can have a number of causes, including viruses, bacteria, and allergies. The type of symptoms that develop may depend on the source of the infection. Some types of conjunctivitis, such as bacterial or viral infections are highly contagious, whereas those caused by allergens are not. In addition, fungus and parasites can also cause conjunctivitis, especially after exposure to unclean conditions and infected areas or bedding. Chemicals and pollution can lead to an irritation in the eye that can develop into a more serious problem.
Also troubling are infections in other parts of the body, such as the ears, that can spread to the eyes. It is important to be alert to symptoms of conjunctivitis, especially among children who are more likely to develop pinkeye. A pinkish tone in the eye, watery discharge, itchiness, and crusts in the eye area are common signs. Cold and flu symptoms can also indicate conjunctivitis, so be aware that one condition can lead to another. Pink eye spreads quickly from one person to the other, and yet it is not airborne. Those who have this ailment should avoid contact with others who can catch the infection and should dispose of kleenexes properly.
Conjunctivitis or pink eye can be caused by viruses and which spread readily from person to person and even from one area of the body to the other. The virus that causes pinkeye, the adenovirus, is the same one that can cause colds and flu and is highly contagious. Viral pinkeye has different symptoms than when the condition is caused by bacteria. In fact, the term “pinkeye” is derived from the viral form of conjunctivitis, which can cause the eye to look pink or reddish. Other forms do not alter the color of the eye. Viral pink eye is characterized by a thin, watery discharge and discoloration.