Family Practitioner Questions Pink eye

How do I know if my child has pink eye or allergies?

I've always thought that pink eye and eye allergies (like puffy red eyes) look similar to one another. How should I distinguish the two from one another?

2 Answers

It is difficult to distinguish one from another, you may need to seek evaluation from a health care professional.
Pink eye is an infection, that typically begins in one eye and purulent (thick) drainage is present. Allergic conjunctivitis is present in both eyes and typically presents with a watery drainage. Allergic conjunctivitis may have transient thick drainage, especially in the morning, but once cleaned, the drainage will be clear and watery.