The length of time pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, lasts depends on what caused the condition in the first place, and how quickly the condition was treated. Pink eye should be treated with home remedies as soon as it is noticed. If it does not get better within four days, visiting your eye doctor is the best way to get rid of pink eye.
Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by common allergens and irritants in the environment. In many instances, allergic pink eye will go away within 24 hours of removal from the irritant. Depending on the cause of irritation, symptoms may last for as long as three weeks. Over the counter antihistamines and eye drops can greatly help with this type of pink eye. However, if your symptoms do not improve within a few days you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
Viral conjunctivitis is usually distinguishable by the presence of a hard crust upon waking. Viral pink eye can last for up to three weeks with symptoms progressively getting worse during the first four to seven days. Cleaning the eye with a washcloth several times a day can help speed recovery with this type of pink eye. Viral pink eye is highly contagious. If you or your child have viral pink eye, make sure hands are washed regularly and avoid touching your eyes.
Bacterial conjunctivitis may get better in as little as 48 hours. Bacterial pink eye is best treated with prescription eye drops or oral antibiotics, which can rapidly speed recovery. Unlike viral conjunctivitis, pink eye caused by bacteria does not always result in crusting of the eye.If you suspect bacteria is responsible for your pink eye, contact your eye doctor right away.
If you or your child is suffering from pink eye that has not responded to home remedies or has lasted longer than four days, please find an experienced eye doctor in your area to schedule a visit today.