Most cases of pink eye are viral or allergic and don’t need to be seen by us. Search “pink eye” on and read about the various causes of pink eye and home treatments. Even many cases of bacterial pink eye will resolve without antibiotic eye drops. 

Here are some additional guidelines that are not on the website:

  • Many cases of pink eye, either viral, allergic, or bacterial, can resolve with time and by soothing the eyes with homeopathic eye drops (like Optique One, by Boiron, or Similasan eye drops). And there’s no hurry to make it go away. These may take 3 to 7 days to resolve. 
  • If the eye is red and itchy, with no pus, then it’s likely allergic. If homeopathic drops don’t help, oral Benadryl may help, or OTC antihistamine eye drops (like Naphcon A or Opcon A) may bring relief.
  • If the eye is red and painless, or mildly irritated but not itchy, and no pus throughout the day (just some upon waking), it’s likely viral. Viral may have some mild pus upon waking and maybe a little bit during the day. This should resolved within a week. 
  • If the eye is red and has pus draining out throughout the day, it’s likely bacterial. But, again, even bacterial pink eye will usually go away with natural Optique 1 by Boiron eye drops. Give this natural treatment about 48 hours to kick in. If no better, call us. 

It’s not too critical to diagnose whether your child’s pink eye is viral, bacterial, or allergic – natural OTC treatment may address it regardless. If the condition doesn’t improve after 48 hours, call us. Viral and bacterial are contagious until the redness has subsided and discharge is gone. 

THE MAIN REASON TO WORRY is if the eyelid becomes red and swollen as well, in addition to pus draining from the eye. This could mean a bacterial infection of the eyelid that needs oral or IV antibiotics. This redness would be very red (not just mildly pink like allergic swelling would be).

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