Bacterial Pink Eye
Pink eye is a layman's term for the medical condition conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin piece of tissue that covers the whites of the eyes and the inner eyelids. There are several different types of pink eye, including viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and bacterial conjunctivitis.
The most common causes of bacterial pink eye are Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. A mucous discharge and red eye are common symptoms. Like viral conjunctivitis, this type of infection is highly contagious.
Unlike allergic or viral conjunctivitis, if you are diagnosed with bacterial pink eye, early treatment does appear to speed up healing (although most cases will get better even without treatment). Treatment also helps improve symptoms and decreases the chances of recurrence. Antibiotic drops or an antibiotic ointment are typically used. Treatment is generally for five to seven days, depending on which antibiotic is prescribed.
(Click Pink Eye to learn more about the causes of bacterial conjunctivitis, a more complete list of possible symptoms, and how this condition is transmitted.)