Pink eye symptoms tend to occur most this time of year, as cold and flu season begins to blend into allergy season—all of which can cause pink eye (or conjunctivitis).

Pink eye is inflammation of the eye, specifically the outer layer of the eye and inner tissue of the eyelids, although other parts can become infected in some cases.

Pink eye can be caused by any pathogen—usually viruses but sometimes bacteria—that gets into the eye, so any activity that would spread pathogens answers the question “how do you get pink eye”:

How do you get pink eye? from germs spread by:

  • a towel or washcloth
  • coughing or sneezing
  • touching your eyes without washing your hands
  • a pillow case during your cold or flu

Watery eyes, redness, and irritation are all pink eye symptoms. Itching often accompanies pink eye caused by allergies, and a bacterial cause can be (but isn’t always) indicated by green or yellow mucus. Sometimes mucus can cause pain to the eye as it hardens.

Pink eye symptoms shouldn’t affect vision quality (although watery eyes can sometimes be blurred). For most people, pink eye symptoms clear up after a few days, but severe or lasting symptoms of pink eye require a trip to the doctor.

Also see a doctor if the potential cause of pink eye is anything other than allergies or a common respiratory illness. Herpes simplex, chlamydia, Varicella-Zoster (chicken pox) and other skin diseases can cause severe pink eye symptoms that may require additional treatment.

Naturally Soothe Pink Eye Symptoms:

Artificial tears can help moisten eyes and flush out irritants, cool water or a cool compress can also relieve irritation.

Most importantly, avoid pink eye symptoms by being extra careful about touching your eyes, and cleaning more frequently (or not touching to your face) washcloths, towels, and pillowcases during cold and flu season.

Kids often get pink eye—any funny stories to answer “how do you get pink eye”?


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