Woman scratching itchy eyes, it is one of many pink eye symptoms

That itchy, watery feeling in your eye could be telling you that you have pink eye. Despite being a common condition, there a lot of myths surrounding this type of eye infection. When dealing with pink eye, it’s important to know what’s fact and what’s fiction:

Pink eye is not just caused by bacteria

FACT: Pink eye is an eye infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergens. These three components can cause irritation to the conjunctiva (the membrane of the eye and inner eyelid) and lead to common symptoms like redness, tears, and swelling.

Dr. Vipul Shah, a CEENTA ophthalmologist at our Blakeney and Monroe offices, stresses the importance of knowing the source. “"There are many causes for red eyes, with viral infections being one of the most common. Many of these issues can seriously impact the health of your eyes, so it's always to have them checked to make sure the problem is correctly diagnosed and treated. Your eyes are too valuable to do otherwise."

Pink eye is always contagious

FICTION: While bacterial conjunctivitis and viral conjunctivitis are both contagious, allergic pink eye is not able to spread to others. This is why it’s important to get a diagnosis from an eye doctor to see if you are at risk of infecting your friends, family, and peers.

Pink eye is preventable

FACT: Pink eye from viruses and bacteria can be mitigated by maintaining proper hygiene. Washing your hands, using a clean contact lens case, and avoiding large crowds are some of the ways to prevent an infection. Limiting your exposure to allergens, especially if they are environmental like ragweed or mold, can prevent allergic conjunctivitis.

Children are the only age group to get pink eye

FICTION: People of all ages are able to get pink eye. With that said, children are more prone to infection because of lack of hand washing, constantly rubbing their eyes, and being in close contact with others in settings like schools.

You can treat pink eye symptoms at home

FACT: Conjunctivitis can go away on its own, but treatment options are available. Warm compresses can provide soothing relief to itchiness and swelling, while eye drops can help with any dryness. However, you should seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or if your vision is impaired.

While there are many misconceptions about pink eye, CEENTA’s ability to provide premier eye care is certainly a fact. If you believe you or a loved one may have an eye infection, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shah at our Blakeney or Monroe offices today to diagnose and treat the root cause. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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