How Long Does Pink Eye Last?

Are you searching for how long does pink eye last? Don’t worry, here you will get the answer for your search. Before answering your question, let me to present some of the useful information about the pink eyes.

A pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the conjunctive (outermost layer of our eye) and inner part of the eyelids. These layers react to an extensive range of viruses, bacteria, irritants, toxic agents, allergy provoking agents and underlying disease in the body. Children are more prone to pink eye when compared with adults. However, pink eye is a common problem for people from all ages. Pink eye doesn’t provide any risk in your vision. As soon as you feel the symptoms of the pink eyes, it is advisable to get the proper treatments. Doctors usually prescribe some antibiotic ointments or eye drops to recover you from the pink eye. If you got pink eyes, you should stay away from children and others.  Proper hygiene and maintaining cleanliness in house is very essential to prevent it from spread.

how long does pink eye last

In order to know the answer for the question, how long does pink eye last, it is vital to understand the types or causes of the pink eyes, since it depends on what sourced it.

Causes of Pink Eye

Pink eye or conjunctivitis is caused by

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Allergies (such as pollen, dust or allergies caused by contact lens)

How Long Does Pink Eye Last?

Getting knowledge on how long does pink eye last helps you to get the proper treatment in the situation when your condition exceeds the normal recovery period. Pink eye last from few days to few weeks depending on what condition does it cause.

Viral Pink Eye

Viral pink eye is generally noticeable by the occurrence of a solid coating upon waking. This type of pink eye can last up to 3 weeks. In case your pink eye is due to viral infection, the symptom increasingly gets worse for the duration of first 4 to 7 days. To speed up the recovery, you should clean your eye several times with wash clothes. This type of conjunctivitis is highly contagious. They can easily spread from one person to another. If you have viral conjunctivitis, you should avoid often touching of eyes and should wash the hands regularly.  Apart from these home remedies to prevent it from spreading, providing enough rest to your eyes can help to control the viral infection. Pink eye caused by the virus always result in eye crusting.

Bacterial Pink Eye

Bacterial conjunctivitis condition can begin to progress within 24 hours to 48 hours. Oral antibiotics or eye drops can help you to get rapid recovery from the bacterial pink eye. Unlike viral pink eye, bacterial pink eye doesn’t result in eye crusting.  If you guess your conjunctivitis is due to the bacterial infection, it is best to contact the eye doctor as soon as possible. If the pink eye is not responding to your home remedies and it has lasted more than four days, you should find the experienced eye doctor. The redness, eye discharge and irritation can begin to reduce if you start to treat with antibiotics. Even the condition starts to get better within a day; you should continue the antibiotics up to the prescribed date. Even though your condition improves, some bacteria may be left in your body, hence you should complete your antibiotic course to prevent from re-occurrence.

Allergic Pink Eye

If your pink eye is not due to the viral or bacterial infections, it may due to the common allergies in the environment. In many cases, this type of pink eye heals out within a day. Sometimes the symptoms may last up to 3 weeks depending on the causes of the allergies. Eye drops that include antihistamines can help to speed up the healing period of allergic pink eye. If the allergic pink eye does not get better within 3 weeks, you should get an appointment from the experienced eye doctor to get the strong medication. Unlike the bacterial and viral pink eye, allergic pink eye is not contiguous.

Symptoms Of Pink Eye

Here I listed some of the symptoms that you experience when you are suffering from pink eyes

  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness in the inner eyelid or in the white of your eye
  • Burning eye
  • Itchy eye
  • Blurred vision
  • More sensitivity to light
  • Yellow discharge from the eyes
  • Sense of having sand in the eyes
  • Eyelid sticking on waking

How Can I Prevent Pink Eye From Spreading?

  • As the infectious pink eye is highly contagious, you should wash your hands immediately after contacting with one who has pink eye.
  • Avoid sharing of infected items like towels, washcloths, cotton balls or gauze. This can be complex among family members, but do your best.
  • If you are affected with pink eye, prevent it from spreading to others by washing your hands often, particularly after touching the infected eyes.  Contaminated hands can easily spread the infection to other eye or other persons.
  • It is also best to avoid sharing of cosmetics particularly eye makeup. The conjunctivitis causing bacteria can spread through beauty products. Don’t use eye make-ups when you are having pink eye. Once you are cured from your pink eye, throw away all the things of your eye makeup and start to use the new stuff.
  • If you are a lens wearer and you have been diagnosed with pink eye, eye doctor may advice you not to wear the contact lenses until you are completely cured from the infection.  After your infection is vanished, clean the lenses thoroughly and ensure that lenses are disinfected. If you use disposable lenses, then it is best to throw away the current pairs and start to use the new one after the infection is gone.
  • If you indentify that you are prone to allergic pink eyes, then try to limit the allergy triggers in your home by closing the doors and windows when there is heavy pollen. Don’t allow the dust to accumulate. You can prevent irritating conjunctivitis by avoiding irritating causes.

Pink Eye Treatments

In addition to knowing about how long does pink eye last, it is also very important to be familiar with the pink eye treatments.

As bacteria do not cause the viral conjunctivitis, they doesn’t respond to the antibiotic treatments. Artificial tears may support ease viral pink eye symptoms. Conjunctives sourced by herpes virus are very serious and can be healed with prescribed antiviral ointment, pills or eye drops.

If bacteria cause the conjunctives, then you can treat with antibiotic ointments or eye drops. This generally helps to ease the pink eye symptoms rapidly. For inflexible infections, doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics are generally prescribed for conjunctivitis rooted by Chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Allergic pink eye can be treated with antihistamines, steroid eye drops or topical vasoconstrictors. Vasoconstrictors are medicines that help to narrow your blood vessels. Don’t apply steroid drops without the prescription of your doctor.  Not only steroid drops, it is better to consult with your doctor before starting any treatments to heal any kind of eye problems.

Home Treatments For Pink Eye

Warm Or Cold Compress

Warm Compresses or Cold compresses can be a best home treatment for conjunctives. If you got infection due to allergy, then you can choose cool compress otherwise choose the warm compress it may help to reduce the swelling and redness.

Soak a clean, lint free soft cloth in cold or warm water. Twist it out to take out the excess water. Then place the cloth on the closed eye and apply gentle pressure. Keep in mind that warm compressor can spread the infection to your other eye, so you have to use separate compress for each eyes.


You can use honey to treat the pink eye, since its antibiotics and antibacterial properties are very powerful in healing infections. You can use honey with either water or milk for conjunctivitis. Create eyewash by mixing three tablespoons of honey with 2 cups of milk or water. Boil the mixture and allow it to cool. Wash your eyes with this eyewash several times per day.


Place a raw potato on the infected eyes several times per day. The Astringent properties in the potato can help to reduce the swelling.


Green and black teas include a compound called bioflavonoids that can fight against bacterial and viral infections. It will results reduce in inflammation. Place a moist tea bag on the affected eye for a few minutes. Do this for three to four times per day to ease the infection. Tannis in the black tea can help to reduce inflammation with in few days.

Hope this post regarding how long pink eye last presents you the useful information to you. As I said earlier, even though we have many treatments for pink eye, it is best to consult with doctor before start to following those for eyes.