3 of the Main Forms of Pink Eye (and How They Spread)

Allergic pink eye is often caused by seasonal allergies

It’s no surprise the words “pink eye” give most people the jitters. Known as conjunctivitis in the medical world, did you know pink eye has many different forms and is often associated with redness, swelling, and watering of the eye.

In the video below, Dr. Rachael Wruble discusses the 3 main forms of pink eye and how to prevent them.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

Three of the most common forms of pink eye are caused by either a virus, bacteria, or allergies. Each form is different in how it’s contracted and treated.

Below is a quick overview of what you need to know!

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Baby with bacterial pink eye

Viral vs bacterial pink eye

Let’s look at viral and bacterial pink eye first! Both of these forms can be very contagious and spread easily when you make direct contact with someone who has it.

Therefore, if you have either of these forms, it is important to wash your hands frequently and wash all linens that you come in contact with.

The bacterial form is best managed with antibiotic eye drops.

On the other hand, the viral form typically lasts a couple of weeks and heals on its own. However, in some cases, it may be severe enough to require an anti-viral treatment.

RELATED: 4 Early Stage Eye Diseases and How to Treat Them Effectively

Allergic pink eye is often caused by seasonal allergies

Allergic pink eye

Lastly, the allergic form is not contagious and may cause itching and eye irritation. This form is often seasonal and can be easily managed with anti-allergy eye drops.


Regardless of what pink eye you think you have, it’s best to have an eye professional examine your eyes to determine an appropriate management and treatment plan.

If you’re concerned you have pink eye, make sure to schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today!