Is pink eye itchy? Is pink eye always itchy? How long is pink eye itchy? Pink eye also known as conjunctivitis is an eye problem that can affect anyone. It is however more common in preschool and school going children. One of the common symptoms of pink eye is itchiness. Other than conjunctivitis, itchy eye may often be a symptom of allergies.
Other symptoms that may come with itchy eyes include:
- Swollen eyes
- Sneezing or runny nose
- Congestion and difficulty in breathing
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision or difficulty in seeing
What causes itchy pink eye?
Itching occurs when the surface of your eye is exposed to allergens. The reaction triggers the release of histamines causing you to have itchy, red and watery eyes. While rubbing your eyes feels like a relief, it is highly discouraged. The more you rub, the more histamines are released making the itch even worse.
Allergic itchy pink eye is caused by allergens such as pollen, animal dander, mites and dust. It is seasonal and not contagious. It affects both eyes; most often, it is accompanied by a running nose and stuffiness. Symptoms usually improve once the allergen is removed.
While pink eye can be classified as a condition on its own, it can also be a symptom of many other eye conditions that present in the same way. Note that many people refer to a red eye as pink eye. Eye itchiness is not only caused by pink eye- it may be caused by other symptoms too. Dry eyes too can cause discomfort and irritation.
For example, a dry eye condition known as blepharitis also causes the eyes to be itchy. Though this condition is non- contagious, it causes the eyes to become scaly and abnormal growth of the lashes. Trichiasis is another eye condition that may cause irritation of the eye.
Contacts and Itchy Pink Eye
Sometimes when you wear contact lenses for too long, it is possible to have your eyes red, itchy and slightly painful especially if they are ill- fitting or torn. Once you notice symptoms of pink eye, you should remove your contacts and wear glasses until the symptoms subside or you receive proper treatment.
Itchy pink eye may also be caused by the solutions used to clean contacts. It is advisable to clean your contacts well after cleaning. If this does not work for you, talk to your doctor and consider changing the cleaning solution.
After treatment or healing of pink eye, you should have your contacts thoroughly cleaned or changed to prevent re-infection. Some people have reported pink eye itch when healing.
Is Pink Eye Always Itchy?
Is pink eye always itchy? Now that we know pink eye is most of the times used to describe a red eye, it is right to say that, pink eye is not always itchy. While eye itchiness is a common symptom of eye conditions, there are many other eye ailments that do not present with itching.
Pink eye is not always itchy but this should not in any way be a reason for you to ignore it. Observe it for a day or two, if the symptoms do not subside, consult a doctor for examination and prompt treatment.
All Pink Eye Not Itchy
My eye is pink but not itchy, what does it mean? Is pink eye considered a ‘pink eye’ when there is no itching? According to Dr. Jon Fishburn, an experienced ophthalmologist, “pink eye can be just an eye that is pink or red for any reason- it does not have to be itchy or painful.”
Eye itchiness is very annoying and it’s the most common reason why people seek medical attention since they cannot stand it. It is important to note that even if your pink eye is not itchy, it is not advisable to ignore the other symptoms. Visit your eye doctor so the he can determine the cause of your pink eye
Pink eye may be caused by many other different things such as infections, inflammation, dryness, allergies, chemicals or trauma. If your eyes are asymptomatic but pink, you may just be tired or exposed to the elements of the environment such as wind which may cause your eyes to be dry.
Is Bacterial Pink Eye Itchy?
Is bacterial pink eye itchy? Bacterial conjunctivitis typically presents with a sticky yellow or greenish yellow eye discharge. In some cases, the discharge may be too much and cause the eyelids to stick together.
On or both of the eyes may be affected. Common bacteria involved are staphylococcus aureus, hemophilus influenza and streptococcus pneumoniae. If left untreated, bacterial pink eye may cause serious damage to the eye.
Viral pink eye majorly presents with itchy watery eyes. It is caused by adenovirus, a common respiratory virus. It can also be caused by herpes virus. Viral pink eye is very contagious but it usually clears up on its own after running its course in about 5-7 days even without treatment. It is rapidly spread through sneezing and coughing. Redness and itchiness improve from the third day.
How Long Is Pink Eye Itchy?
How long does pink eye itch? This entirely depends on the type of infection that you have and what measures of treatment you take but usually symptoms of pink eye such as itching and pain, start to improve and clear by the third day of the infection course. The time that an itchy pink eye last will also depend on how your body’s healing factors and immunity. The better your immunity, the faster itchiness will clear.
To prevent pink eye and itchiness, you can simply avoid the allergen and infections. It avoidance is not possible, you can talk to your doctor about preventive options such as eye drops and oral antihistamines.
It is recommended that you wear protective gear when dealing with irritants or chemicals. If you are allergic to your contact lens and lens cleaning solution, talk to your doctor about a change. Visit your eye doctor regularly to check for developing eye conditions such as blepharitis.
Sources and References
- Web MD: Eye Health Center, Pink Eye
- All About Vision: Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
- Mayo Clinic: Pink Eye
- Livestrong: Causes of an Itch around the Eyes