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10 striking symptoms of viral conjunctivitis or pinkeye

Viral conjunctivitis is more common in India, but only few know about its wide range of symptoms. Have a look.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : July 4, 2016 9:43 AM IST

Pinkeye, medically termed as viral conjunctivitis, is highly contagious inflammation of the conjunctiva normally caused by adenovirus (although, few other viruses have also found to cause pinkeye). The conjunctiva is a clear thin tissue lining the inner surface of the eyelid lying over the white part of your eyes. This self-limiting clinical condition usually lasts around 10 to 12 days (from day one till the eyes are red) and may not pose a serious health risk if diagnosed promptly. Here's Tips to get rid of constant eye lid twitching

Since the chances of transmission of the virus from one person to another is quite high, it is recommended that the affected people should avoid shaking hands, touching their eyes and sharing their personal belongings with others. Accidental inoculation of the viral particles through contact with infected respiratory droplets, contaminated swimming pools or carriers of germs can also take place. Read more about What causes dry eyes and how you can prevent it

Dr Punita Parti, ophthalmologist at Sai Snehadeep Hospital in Koparkhairane says, Of the many strains of adeno virus, Type 8 and 19 are usually responsible for viral conjunctivitis. Changes in the atmospheric condition are the key factor that helps the virus to thrive and spread the infection at a faster rate. Know more about Save your eyesight with these tests

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Top 10 symptoms of viral conjunctivitis or pinkeye include

  • Redness of eye Redness or pinkness in the white part of the eye is the first and most common symptom of this condition. Though rarely serious, this condition needs to be detected immediately and treated to avoid long-term damage of vision.
  • Swollen eyelids Swelling of the conjunctiva or eyelids typically starts off with one eye and gradually infects the other.
  • Tearing Viral conjunctivitis is reported to cause increased tear production that is typical to viral and allergic pinkeye.
  • Burning eyes Irresistible irritation with itching and burning sensation in the eyes is typical characteristic of pinkeye.
  • Eye drainage While viral conjunctivitis causes flow of clear and watery fluid from the eyes, bacterial pinkeye results in discharge of yellow-green pus.
  • Crusty Eye Sometimes, one can wake up with closed eyes or crusty eyelid that is usually caused by the accumulation of the discharge from eyes when you are asleep.
  • Light sensitivity Mild sensitivity to light is sometimes seen in people with conjunctivitis. But, in case you experience severe light sensitivity, pain in eyes or changes in your sight then your infection might have spread beyond the white lining and medical examination is a must.
  • Feeling the presence of 'something' in the eye One may feel that something is stuck in their eye(s) or presence of a foreign particle urging you to rub your eyes.
  • Lymph nodes Rarely, one can experience tenderness or enlargement of the lymph nodes present in the ear (these act as filters that destroy and flush the virus from the body)
  • Cold or flu Symptoms of flu, cold and other respiratory tract infections are also found in some cases.


Signs & Symptoms. Conjuctivitis (pink eye). CDC

Viral Conjunctivitis. American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments. WebMD

Viral Conjunctivitis. Medscape

Image source: Getty images (Image for representational purpose only)

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