What are the possible causes of conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Oct 22, 2018
  • Author: Michael A Silverman, MD, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Most causes of conjunctivitis are benign, with a self-limited process; however, depending on the immune status of the patient and the etiology, conjunctivitis can progress to increasingly severe and sight-threatening infections. The role of the emergency physician is to separate those few conditions requiring more vigorous treatment from the majority that can be handled satisfactorily in the ED.

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