What is the Most Common Cause of Pink Eye?
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a common condition that can develop in children and adults. It occurs when the conjunctiva—the transparent membrane that covers the white of the eyeball and lines the eyelid—becomes inflamed or infected, resulting in redness and uncomfortable itchiness in one or both eyes.
So, what’s to blame for pink eye and its bothersome symptoms? The most common cause of pink eye is viral infection from the adenovirus, herpes simplex virus or other viruses, including the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Viral conjunctivitis can develop alongside the common cold, as can bacterial conjunctivitis from the same bacteria associated with sinus infections, strep throat, and pneumonia.
Other causes of pink eye include:
- Allergies related to pollen, grass, dust mites, pet dander and other common allergens
- Indoor or outdoor pollution
- Irritants found in shampoos, contact lenses, pool chlorine, and cosmetics
- Certain sexually transmitted infections
- A foreign object in the eye
People who use contact lenses should stop wearing them at the first sign of pink eye, which may include eye redness, excess tearing, eye discharge, or a feeling of grittiness or itchiness in one or both eyes.
Treatment for Pink Eye at Fast Track Urgent Care
Professional walk-in treatment for pink eye, colds, and other non-emergency medical conditions is available at Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring and Kensington, Maryland. Stop by today! We’re open every day during extended hours and do not require appointments, although you can reserve an appointment time online if you prefer. You can also take advantage of our convenient telemedicine services—schedule a Virtual Visit on our website.