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Is it Pink Eye?

“Pink Eye,” also known as conjunctivitis, is a fairly common eye infection. Conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva (thin transparent layer covering the white of the eye) becomes inflamed due to bacteria, a virus or allergies. The pain and irritation should be evaluated by your eye doctor so the right course of treatment can be taken.

Schedule an Appointment

If you suspect you have any type of eye infection, call us at 847-955-9393 right away to schedule an emergency appointment. We’re conveniently located near Arlington Heights, Deerfield, Hawthorn Woods, Lincolnshire and Vernon Hills. You can also schedule an appointment at Be sure to share your symptoms so we can get you in to see Dr. Cohan or Dr. Cozzone as soon as possible. In the meantime, follow the recommended guidelines below to help prevent the spread of infection to others in your home or workplace.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

Your symptoms will vary depending upon the cause of your conjunctivitis.

  • Eye discharge (yellow or green) in the corner of the eye is typical with bacterial conjunctivitis. This sticky discharge can cause eyelids to become stuck together overnight. This form is contagious and can happen to one or both eyes.
  • Watery and itchy eyes that can be sensitive to light is the more common set of symptoms associated with viral conjunctivitis. This form is also contagious and can occur in one or both eyes.
  • Watery, burning and itchy eyes, often accompanied with a stuffy or runny nose. Both eyes will show symptoms, but this form is not contagious.

Treating Pink Eye

Treatments will vary based on your diagnosis.

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis is usually treated using antibiotic drops or ointments prescribed by your optometrist.
  • Viral conjunctivitis usually goes away without treatment, but symptoms can be relieved using a warm washcloth several times a day. Don’t share the washcloth with others to keep from spreading the infection.
  • Regularly taking allergy medications can help manage symptoms

Wondering if what you have isn’t pink eye? Read about the symptoms of a stye.

Slide of doctor and child doing icare tonometer exam for glaucoma

If you have been diagnosed with bacterial or viral pink eye, it’s wise to adhere to the following guidelines to avoid spreading the infection to others. This advice can also help people avoid getting conjunctivitis from someone they know who is infected or from public places.

  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after applying drops or ointments to your eyes. If soap and water are not available, a hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60% alcohol) can be used instead. This will keep you from transferring germs into your eyes and will prevent you from spreading any infection you may have.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your infected eye to prevent spreading pink eye to your non-infected eye or to other people.
  • Wash all pillowcases, towels, clothing or other contaminated items using hot water and laundry detergent.
  • Do not share contaminated items with others.
  • Throw away any eye makeup or other items that came into contact with your infected eye(s) and cannot be cleaned.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until your eye doctor advises it’s safe to do so.

Your Pink Eye Appointment

Our optometrists will quickly diagnose your symptoms and begin your treatment. Call us at 847-955-9393 for more information or visit to request an appointment. If you are calling after hours, special instructions are provided on our voice mail so you can reach one of our eye doctors for advice or to arrange an emergency visit. If your pain is severe, visit your nearest urgent care facility.