Pink eye is an infection or inflammation usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It affects the outer membrane of the eyelid and eyeball, which covers the white part of the eye. Each year, around 3 million people in the US alone contract pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis. There are three types of pink eye: viral, bacterial, and allergic. The body may fight off the infection without medical intervention. Most treatments focus on the relief of symptoms, which people can do at home. However, some symptoms may require treatment from a medical professional.
If there is pain, sensitivity to light, or vision issues, the individual should seek medical advice from an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in eye care. The ophthalmologist will look for large amounts of pus or mucus oozing from the eye. Fever, chills, and aches that develop along with other symptoms could also indicate a possible eye infection. Symptoms continuing for a week or more combined with these other symptoms point to an infection and may require an antibiotic.
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