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Viral 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. When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, it looks pink or red from a distance.
Most cases of pink eye are caused by a virus -- in particular, adenovirus. Adenovirus is the same virus that often causes the common cold. This is why viral pink eye (also known as viral conjunctivitis) often occurs following a recent upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold.
Symptoms of viral pink eye may include a watery, mucous discharge; red and swollen eyelids; and, of course, a red or pink eye. This type of pink eye typically starts in one eye and, after a few days, moves to the other eye.
There is currently no cure for pink eye caused by a virus. Therefore, healthcare providers will treat the symptoms as the body takes care of the infection on its own.
(Click Pink Eye to learn about other possible symptoms, information on how to prevent viral conjunctivitis, and how long this condition typically lasts.)
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