Both viral and bacterial pinkeye (conjunctivitis) usually improve after 5 to 7 days, and symptoms clear up by 7 to 10 days. With antibiotic treatment for bacterial pinkeye, symptoms go away more quickly than without treatment.
Pinkeye infections caused by certain other infections (such as herpes, gonorrhea, or meningitis) may cause more long-term problems if not treated. But these infections usually cause the types of symptoms in the first 2 to 3 days that would cause a person to seek medical care.
Eye pain and sensitivity to light that increases in the first 5 to 7 days may mean you have a more serious eye problem. Any symptom that has not improved after 7 days needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||November 2, 2011|