Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a form of eye inflammation that makes eyes look red or pink. The contagious condition affects six million Americans every year and spreads quickly from several different sources. People of all ages can contract pink eye.
The thin membrane that lines the inner eyelid and the whites of the eyes is the conjunctiva. When this area becomes inflamed and swollen, the tiny blood vessels in the eyes are more visible, producing the color that gives pink eye its name. While pink eye is irritating, it normally clears up within a few weeks, if not sooner. Identifying the cause of the infection can help treat symptoms and stop the spread.
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