A Comprehensive Guide to Bacterial Pink Eye

Nishi Kashyap
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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bacterial pink eye

Bacterial Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) is an eye infection that can cause discomfort among individuals.

Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria can show several symptoms, from mild to severe.

It is essential to recognize the cause of the infection for further diagnosis and treatment options.

This article will cover everything you need to know about Bacterial Pink Eyes, like causes, symptoms, effective treatment options, and preventive measures.

We will also provide some natural remedies to relieve bacterial Conjunctivitis symptoms.

Understanding Bacterial Pink Eye Conjunctivitis

Bacterial Pink Eye, also known as bacterial Conjunctivitis, is an eye infection.

It is more common in children than adults. It is observed especially from December to April.

Bacterial Pink Eye can be highly contagious. It means it can easily spread from one person to another.

Its symptoms usually appear 24 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria.

In most cases, bacterial Conjunctivitis affects just one eye but can also affect both eyes.

Symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye

Here are the symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Itchy or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Thick, whitish, or yellowish discharge from the eyes
  • Crusting of eyelashes, causing them to stick together, especially in the morning
  • Mild sensitivity to light (photophobia)
Bacterial Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes. If you face these symptoms, take medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What bacteria causes pink eye

Bacterial Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that can be caused by various bacteria.

Based on the severity of the bacteria, bacterial infections are classified as follows:

Acute bacterial Conjunctivitis

It is a common form of Bacterial Pink Eye.

In children, Conjunctivitis is caused by the following bacteria:

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis

The condition is self-limited and resolves within a week or two. You can take antibiotics to shorten the duration of the disease.

Hyperacute bacterial Conjunctivitis

It is a rare and serious Conjunctivitis caused by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhoeae or Neisseria Meningitidis.

Hyperacute bacterial conditions can cause pain and swelling in the eyes.

A proper course of action and antibiotic therapy is required for its treatment.

Chronic bacterial Conjunctivitis

The bacteria that cause this infection are Staphylococcus Aureus or Moraxella Lacunata.

It last for at least four weeks.

Chronic bacterial Conjunctivitis often happens with Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).

Also Read: Want to learn more? Read “What Bacteria Causes Pink Eye?” to have in-depth knowledge.

Bacterial Pink Eye typically produces a greater amount of mucus or pus compared to viral or allergic Conjunctivitis.

Causes of Bacterial Pink Eye

mosquitoesSource: Laszlo Fatrai from Pexels
Mosquitoes can spread bacterial infection

There are a few causes of Bacterial Pink Eye:


Insects, such as gnats, flies, or mosquitoes, can sometimes be annoying during the summer.

These insects can spread diseases such as bacterial infections.

Insects transmit disease by transporting bacteria from dirty conditions to humans.

Physical contact with infected people

Bacterial Conjunctivitis can spread through physical contact with infected people in many ways.

The infection can spread through hand-to-eye contact or from mother to baby.

Contaminated eye makeup

Eye makeup can sometimes cause an eye infection.

According to the FDA, eye cosmetics have temporarily or permanently blinded people in rare cases.

Bacteria can spread to the eyes from makeup brushes or products, causing the infection.

When purchased, eye products are safe for use.

Sharing your personal makeup products or brushes can increase the possibility of infection.

Bacterial Pink Eye complications

Pink eye can affect vision in both children and adults.

There are some complications related to Conjunctivitis:

  • Eye pain
  • A sensation of something stuck in your eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity

Early medical attention can address these symptoms and potential complications, ensuring the preservation of your eye health and vision.

Also Read: Read “The Eye Care Checklist: How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?” to know when to schedule your next eye test appointment.


washing handsSource: Valeriia_Miller_from_StopTheSpread
Wash your hands frequently

Reducing the risk of spreading Conjunctivitis is possible by taking the necessary steps.

Here are some preventive measures suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention you can add to your routine if you have Bacterial Pink Eye:

Wash your hands

Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Remember to wash your hands well before and after putting eye drops in your infected eye.

If soap is unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.

Avoid rubbing your eye

Avoid continuous touching and rubbing your eyes.

It will increase the chances of spreading the infection to other eyes.

Maintain good hygiene

Use a clean, wet washcloth or fresh cotton ball to clean any discharge around your eyes several times daily.

Throw away used cotton balls and wash used washcloths with hot water and detergent.

Wash your hands again with soap and warm water after handling these items.

Use separate eye drop dispensers or bottles for infected and non-infected eyes.

Avoid sharing personal items

Do not share personal items. It includes:

  • Pillow
  • Towels
  • Eye drops
  • Washcloths
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eye makeup
  • Makeup brushes
  • Contact lenses

Diagnose of Bacterial Pink Eye

An Ophthalmologist will perform a thorough examination and consider the individual’s health history to diagnose pink eye accurately.

They may take an eye chart test to check your vision.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Recently experienced a viral or bacterial infection
  • Any known allergies
  • Affected by irritating substances (such as chemicals) in your eyes recently
  • Had potential exposure to a sexually transmitted infection
  • A family history of autoimmune disease or any reason to suspect an autoimmune condition


Antibiotics are used to treat infection from bacteria.

They work by inhibiting growth or by killing these bacteria.

In most cases, Bacterial Pink Eye can get better without antibiotic treatments.

Usually, it gets better within 2 to 5 days without treatment, but it may take up to 2 weeks to completely resolve.

Your doctor can prescribe antibiotic eye drops to relieve the symptoms.

Antibiotics can help treat Bacterial pink eye in the following ways:

  • Shorten the duration of the infection
  • Reduce the risk of complications
  • Minimize the spread of the infection to others

In some cases, antibiotics can be necessary like:

  • With discharge (pus)
  • When Conjunctivitis develops in people with weak immune systems
  • When specific bacteria are present

You can buy eye drops from WowRxPharmacy to treat bacterial infections of the eye.

    Norflox Eye Drop$0.47
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Locula Eye Drop$15.40
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Toba Eye Drop$9.96

Natural remedies

cold and warm compressesSource: Robert Kneschke
Cold and warm compresses are effective

There are some homemade remedies that are effective in providing relief from the symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye.

They include the following:

Cold or warm compress

Both cold and warm compresses are effective natural remedies for Conjunctivitis.

A warm compress helps to reduce the accumulation of sticky discharge on your eyelids.

While cold compress helps in relieving inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Steps to using a warm compress

You can make a warm compress by taking the following steps:

  • Soak the clean cloth in warm water 
  • Wring out the water and place it on your closed eyes
  • Gently wipe your eyes with the washcloth
  • Repeat the process as required

Steps to use a cold compress

You can take the following steps to use a cold compress:

  • You can make a cold compress using a wet washcloth
  • Soak the cloth in cold water and wring out excess water
  • Place the cloth on your closed eyes for a few minutes
  • Repeat the process as necessary
  • Do not use the same washcloth again before cleaning it properly

Tea bags

Placing tea bags on closed eyes treats various conditions, such as inflammation, swelling, or puffy eyes.

Some tea, including Flavonoids, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can use tea bags as a cold or warm compress.


Euphrasia, also called Eyebright, is a herb. It is a potential home remedy in Ophthalmology.

Some studies on Euphrasia extract have shown positive results.

Research published by The National Library of Medicine examined the effectiveness of Euphrasia in Conjunctivitis.

In the trial, patients with Conjunctivitis were given a single dose of Euphrasia eye drops.

It was found that 81.5% of patients recovered completely, with 17% showing significant improvement.


Normal saline solution can be used to manage Conjunctivitis.

It has antiseptic properties and can be used to clean the infected eye.

Do not try these remedies without consulting with your doctor.

Speak with your doctor if the infection worsens or does not go away.

Also Read: To know other such effective ways, read our informative article, “How to Treat Bacterial Pink Eye Naturally?


Bacterial Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) is a common eye infection caused by certain bacteria.

It can spread easily through physical contact, insects, or contaminated eye makeup.

Symptoms of bacterial Conjunctivitis are redness, itching, excessive tearing, and thick discharge from the eyes.

Treatment of this infection includes antibiotics that can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications.

To prevent spreading Conjunctivitis, practice good hand hygiene, avoid rubbing your eyes, and avoid sharing personal items.

Natural remedies like warm or cold compresses, tea bags, Euphrasia, and saltwater may provide relief, but consult your doctor before trying them.

If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Bacterial Pink Eye?

Certain bacteria, like Staphylococcus Aureus and Streptococcus Pneumoniae, cause Bacterial Pink Eye. It spreads through physical contact with infected people or touching contaminated objects like makeup brushes.

How can I treat bacterial Conjunctivitis?

You can treat bacterial Conjunctivitis with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Antibiotic eye drops are helpful in relieving symptoms, shortening the infection duration, and preventing spreading to others.

What are the natural remedies for Bacterial Pink Eye?

Natural remedies include warm or cold compresses, tea bags, and natural saline solutions. These can provide relief, but make sure to consult a doctor before trying them.

What are the symptoms of Bacterial Pink Eye?

Symptoms of Bacterial Pink eye  include redness, itching, excessive tearing, thick discharge, crusting of eyelashes, and mild sensitivity to light. It typically affects one eye, but both eyes can be involved.

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