Understanding Viral Pink Eye Symptoms

Amisha Jain
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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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Viral Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye could be infectious or non-infectious.

The most common type of Conjunctivitis is Viral Conjunctivitis.

It is contagious and more prevalent in the summers.

It is typically caused by the same virus that causes sore throat and runny nose in people with the common cold.

Conjunctivitis might cause extreme discomfort and pain in the eyes.

About 1% of the primary care visits in the US are related to Conjunctivitis.

You should know the signs and symptoms to ensure your eyes stay healthy.

Read along to know Viral Pink Eye symptoms and how you get infected.

Signs of Viral Pink eye

Viral Conjunctivitis is highly contagious. 

It usually starts in one eye and gradually spreads to the other eye.

A person who has contracted Viral Conjunctivitis exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Redness in the eyes
  • A gritty sensation in the eye
  • Burning or itchy eyes
  • Crusting in the eyes on waking up
  • Excessive tearing
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Pain in the eyes

Apart from these common symptoms, some are specific to the viruses causing them.

The viruses causing Pink Eye are also responsible for other conditions.

Therefore, symptoms of those conditions might also show up along with Viral Pink Eye symptoms.

Consult a doctor immediately if the symptoms worsen even after treatment.

These might include one or more of the following:

  • Swelling in the lymph nodes under the jawbone or in front of the ear
  • Broken blood vessels under the conjunctiva
  • Common cold or flu
  • Respiratory infection
  • Pharyngoconjunctivial fever (fever and sore throat)
  • Measles

How do you get infected?

Most viruses that are responsible for spreading Conjunctivitis transmit through contact.

It happens when you touch an object contaminated by the virus and then touch your eyes.

Viral Conjunctivitis also spreads through large respiratory droplets.

You should therefore cover your mouth and nose if you have Pink Eye to avoid spreading the infection.

You are susceptible to Pink Eye and other infections if you wear contact lenses.

It is, therefore, suggested not to wear lenses if you have Viral Pink Eye symptoms.

Also Read: Want to know the best home remedies for viral pink eye? Read “Viral Pink Eye Remedy: Relief Without Medication” to know the best remedies.

What might cause Viral Pink Eye?

Eye Redness and PainSource: pixelshot
Pinkeye or conjunctivitis

The following viruses may cause Viral Conjunctivitis.

  • Adenoviruses
  • Rubella virus
  • Rubeola (measles) virus
  • Herpesviruses, including
    • Herpes simplex virus
    • Varicella-zoster virus
    • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Picornaviruses
Adenoviruses cause between 65% and 90% of cases of Viral Conjunctivitis.

When to see a doctor?

Some cases of Viral Pink Eye are mild and might go away on their own in about two weeks.

Viral Pink Eye is contagious and requires immediate attention to help clear the symptoms and expedite healing.

You should see a doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  • Extreme eye pain
  • Intense sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive discharge
  • A compromised immune system
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To know how to treat viral pink eye, read Viral Pink Eye Treatment: Know it All on WowRxPharmacy.


Viral Pink Eye SymptomsSource: Antonio_Diaz_from_Getty_Images
pink eye

Viral Pink Eye is the most commonly seen Conjunctivitis and is contagious.

It might appear as redness, itching, pain in the eyes, excessive watering, and sensitivity to light.

Patients with Viral Pink Eye also experience symptoms like a sensation of something being stuck in their eyes.

Besides this, some symptoms might depend upon the virus that causes the infection.

These might include cold or flu, swollen lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, etc.

Most mild cases of Viral Pink Eye resolve by themselves in two weeks.

But if you suspect Viral Pink Eye symptoms, consult a doctor to fasten the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of Viral Pink Eye?

Viral Pink Eye symptoms include red and painful eyes, watering, photophobia, and blurry vision. You might also have a gritty sensation in your eye, along with itchiness and crusting in the eye on waking up.

Can contact lenses cause Conjunctivitis?

Wearing contact lenses does not cause Conjunctivitis. But failure to keep the lenses sanitary might lead to the build-up of bacteria, increasing the risk of infection.

Is cold a symptom of Viral Pink Eye?

Viral Pink Eye is typically caused by the virus that can also cause the common cold. It is, hence, common to see symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. These occur with symptoms like red and painful eyes, watering, photophobia, etc.

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