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Difference Between An Eye Cold And Pink Eye?

difference-between-eye-cold-and-pink-eye

Conjunctivitis is a condition wherein the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the eye and inner eyelid, becomes inflamed[1]. Conjunctivitis is also known as “pink eye” or is referred to as an “eye cold”. The term “pink eye” however is used mostly to refer more specifically to conjunctivitis caused by viral infection, but it can also refer to bacterial conjunctivitis[2]. The term “eye cold” on the other hand only refers to conjunctivitis that is caused by a viral infection[3].

 

Kinds of Conjunctivitis

 

The kinds of conjunctivitis are based on their causes, which are as follows: viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis and conjunctivitis caused by eye medications[4]. Most cases of conjunctivitis generally have the same symptoms regardless of the kind of conjunctivitis you have. The tell-tale signs of conjunctivitis are redness of the eyes, discharge, a burning sensation, itchiness and sensitivity to light[5].

 

Eye Cold

 

The most common kind of conjunctivitis, which is viral, is caused by the transmission of the virus from one person to another before, during or after being infected with a cold or other upper respiratory infection[6]. This is what is also known as an “eye cold” because it accompanies a cold infection and its symptoms are similar to that of a cold as well[7]. The discharge that is released by eyes infected with viral conjunctivitis is clear and watery and the inflammation will last between five to seven days[8].

 

Pink Eye

 

Pink eye is used to refer to infectious conjunctivitis, whether viral or bacterial[9]. Bacterial conjunctivitis, like viral conjunctivitis, is characterized by discharge that is similar to pus.[10] The bacteria that most commonly cause this kind of conjunctivitis are staphylococci and streptococci[11]. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotics in the form of prescription eye drops or ointments[12].

 

 

Resources 

[1]“Conjunctivitis.” McKinley Health Center – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Board of Trustees of The University of Illonois. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/conjunctivitis/conjunctivitis.html>.

[2] Stöppler, MD, Melissa C. “Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye) Home Remedies, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Signs.” MedicineNet.com. Ed. William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com/pink_eye/article.htm>.

[3] Lloyd MD, Bill. “‘Pink Eye’ Similar to Common Cold.” WebMD. 23 Dec. 2005. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://blogs.webmd.com/eye-on-vision/2005/12/pink-eye-similar-to-common-cold.html>.

[4]Callahan, R.N., CRNO, Diane . “Conjunctivitis.” DJO | Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Harvard Medical School, 3 July 2011. Web. 3 July 2011. <http://www.djo.harvard.edu/site.php?url=/patients/pi/410>.

[5]Callahan, R.N., CRNO, Diane . “Conjunctivitis.” DJO | Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Harvard Medical School, 3 July 2011. Web. 3 July 2011. <http://www.djo.harvard.edu/site.php?url=/patients/pi/410>.

[6]Callahan, R.N., CRNO, Diane . “Conjunctivitis.” DJO | Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Harvard Medical School, 3 July 2011. Web. 3 July 2011. <http://www.djo.harvard.edu/site.php?url=/patients/pi/410>.

[7]Lloyd MD, Bill. “‘Pink Eye’ Similar to Common Cold.” WebMD. 23 Dec. 2005. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://blogs.webmd.com/eye-on-vision/2005/12/pink-eye-similar-to-common-cold.html>.

[8] Lloyd MD, Bill. “‘Pink Eye’ Similar to Common Cold.” WebMD. 23 Dec. 2005. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://blogs.webmd.com/eye-on-vision/2005/12/pink-eye-similar-to-common-cold.html>.

[9]Stöppler, MD, Melissa C. “Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye) Home Remedies, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Signs.” MedicineNet.com. Ed. William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com/pink_eye/article.htm>.

[10]Lloyd MD, Bill. “‘Pink Eye’ Similar to Common Cold.” WebMD. 23 Dec. 2005. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://blogs.webmd.com/eye-on-vision/2005/12/pink-eye-similar-to-common-cold.html>.

[11] Stöppler, MD, Melissa C. “Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye) Home Remedies, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Signs.” MedicineNet.com. Ed. William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com/pink_eye/article.htm>.

[12]Stöppler, MD, Melissa C. “Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye) Home Remedies, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Signs.” MedicineNet.com. Ed. William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. Web. 03 July 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com/pink_eye/article.htm>.

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