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Seeing Red: A Closer Look at Viral Pink Eye Symptoms

Gina Walters


viral pink eye symptoms

Pink Eye, also known as Conjunctivitis, is a common eye condition that can turn your eyes red and watery.

While there are other forms of Pink Eye, viral Pink Eye is one of the most common ones.

Several viruses, including Adeno, Herpes Simplex, and Coronavirus, can cause viral Pink Eye.

Redness, swelling, itchy eyes, discharge, and a burning feeling are common symptoms of viral Conjunctivitis.

Pink Eye can cause severe discomfort; it is critical to learn about its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at viral Pink Eye symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Viral Pink Eye symptoms

Viral Pink Eye has three main symptoms: flu, cold, and respiratory infections. 

Pink Eye symptoms normally start in one eye and progress to the other within a few days.

Constant discharge from the eyes, which is normally watery but heavier, is another most common sign of viral pink eye.

Itching due to pink eye, swelling, and red eyes in the affected eye may occur in some patients.

Viral Pink Eye affects the conjunctiva, the clear membrane on the white area of the eyes that also lines the inside of the eyelids. 

Consequently, people with this condition may experience hazy vision and light sensitivity.

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What causes viral Pink Eye symptoms

Viral Pink Eye is caused mostly by viruses, notably the highly contagious Adenovirus.

These symptoms can occur if a person comes into close contact with the virus through the air or even through swimming pools.

According to another study, Adenovirus is responsible for around 80% of viral Pink Eye.

Herpes Simplex virus, on the other hand, is responsible for viral Pink Eyes in some persons.

Research states that Primary Herpes Simplex Conjunctivitis is most common in children under the age of five.

Coronavirus can also cause viral Conjunctivitis in people.

Curious About Pink Eye Transmission? Read How Does Pink Eye Spread and protect your eye health today!

Did you know?
The presence of cold or respiratory symptoms, like a runny nose and sneezing, often accompanies viral Pink Eye.

Medical treatment available for viral Pink Eye

Use artificial tears eyedropSource: Denisfilm_From_Getty_Images
Use artificial tears eyedrop

According to research, the viral Pink Eye usually does not require antibiotic treatment.

Viral Pink Eye usually goes away on its own within a week or two as the body’s immune system fights the virus.

Artificial tears, cold compresses, and good hygiene are some of the ways to prevent viral Pink Eye symptoms.

Maintaining proper hygiene is critical for effectively managing the earliest signs of Pink Eye.

Let’s discuss these treatments in detail: 

  • Artificial tears: Artificial tears available over the counter can help reduce eye dryness and irritation. 
    To alleviate inflammation, use these lubricating eye drops as needed.
  • Cold compress: In most circumstances, using cold compresses on the affected eye can alleviate the discomfort.
    Applying cool compresses to your closed eyelids can alleviate some of the discomfort, reduce swelling, and help with itching and redness.
  • Good hygiene: It is critical to maintain appropriate hygiene throughout this period. Use separate towels and pillowcases, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes. 
    This helps to keep the virus from spreading to others and avoids reinfection.

Doctors may advise patients with a viral Pink Eye to wait for the illness to clear up, which typically takes one to two weeks.

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While viral Pink Eye typically resolves on its own, consult a healthcare professional for guidance on symptom relief and prevention.

Summing up

Viral Pink Eye is a common condition caused by viruses such as Adeno and Herpes Simplex. 

The most common viral Pink Eye symptoms are flu, cold, and respiratory infections. 

People typically experience redness, swelling, itching, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.

Being aware of the symptoms, causes, and available treatments for viral Pink Eye enables people to take the appropriate action.

It’s critical to follow safety procedures, wash your hands frequently, and get medical advice from a specialist on how to manage the illness. 

If you’re experiencing any viral Pink Eye symptoms, seek immediate help to avoid potential risks and side effects.

Want to know the difference between Viral and Bacterial Pink Eye? Read our article: Viral vs Bacterial Pink Eye: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of viral Pink Eye?

Viral Pink Eye symptoms include redness, excessive tearing, itching, and a watery discharge. Often, individuals may experience symptoms in both eyes and may be accompanied by a cold or respiratory infection.

Are viral Pink Eye symptoms always bilateral (affecting both eyes)?

Yes, viral Pink Eye typically affects both eyes. However, it may show symptoms in one eye before spreading to the other. 

Bilateral involvement is a common characteristic of viral Conjunctivitis.

Do other illnesses typically accompany viral Pink Eye?

Yes, viral Pink Eye is often associated with other illnesses, particularly viral upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold. 

These concurrent illnesses can be a common trigger for viral Conjunctivitis.

How long do viral Pink Eye symptoms typically last?

Viral Pink Eye symptoms typically improve within a week. However, they may persist for up to two to three weeks, with varying durations depending on individual immune responses and the specific virus causing the infection.

Is viral Pink Eye highly contagious?

Yes, viral Pink Eye is highly contagious. It can be easily transmitted through direct contact with eye secretions or by touching contaminated objects, emphasizing the need for preventive measures.

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