What is Commonly Misdiagnosed as pink Eye?

What is Commonly Misdiagnosed as pink Eye?

You are noticing the pinkness and the redness in the witness of your eyes. So, it is possible the cause may be pink eye but remember that does not mean the redness or pinkness is due to just pink eye. So, the question arises what is commonly misdiagnosed as pink eye?

However, mostly it is common to misdiagnose allergies, styes, keratitis, iritis, and blepharitis for pink eye. Note that all of them have different causes and require different methods of treatment. So, in this article, we will discuss how pink eye is misdiagnosed, its causes, and treatments.

What is Pink eye or Conjunctivitis?

Pink eye known as conjunctivitis is thin, clear tissue that covers the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Pink eye occurs when inflammation dilates the blood vessels in the conjunctive. Characterized by a red/pink eye but not all red eyes are conjunctivitis.

Is Pink Eye Contagious?

Yes, pink eyes are contagious. There are the main reasons behind pink eye virus, bacteria, or allergies. Also, these diseases spread easily from one person to another. However, you can reduce the chances of getting and spreading by great care and regular inspection.

What are the main Types of Conjunctivitis?

There are three main types of conjunctivitis.

What are the main Types of Conjunctivitis?


Highly conjunctivitis

Risk Factors: Direct and indirect contact with infected, URTI

Symptoms may be unilateral or bilateral:

  • Eye redness
  • Itching
  • Tearing
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Discharge( Watery or serious)
  • Eyelid stickiness (especially in the morning)
  • Preauricular lymphadenopathy (common)
  • Eye pain or irritation (may occur if caused by HSV)

Clinical Diagnosis: Superficial conjunctival Scrapings


gram-negative bacteria are more virulent.

Risk Factors: Direct and indirect contact with infection, contact lens use, Trauma, Prior eye condition.

Bacterial conjunctivitis causes a sticky, yellow discharge on the eyelids and crusty eyelashes.

Symptoms occur bilaterally:

  • Eye redness
  • Tearing
  • Eye discharge is more purulent
  • White, green, and yellow
  • Eyelids can be glued shut in the morning

Complications: Vision loss (blindness) may occur in very severe cases, ocular perforations.

Clinical Diagnosis: Bacterial culture, Conjunctival scrapings, Gram stain, Giemsa stain( Intracellular inclusion bodies from Chlamydia)


Allergic conjunctivitis that appears due to pet dander, dust, or pollen.

Symptoms occur bilaterally:

  • Eye redness
  • Itching is a hallmark finding
  • Tearing/Runny eyes
  • Discharge( Clear or watery)
  • Chemosis
  • May have eye-burning but no pain
  • Mucus prod

Associated conditions: Allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis.

Clinical Diagnosis: Cultural and conjunctival cytology smear in severe, recurrent, or refractory cases, Adenoplus immunoassay for adenoviral conjunctivitis, Fluorescein stain( keratoconjunctivitis).

What is commonly misdiagnosed as pink eye?

If you feel that you have pinkness and redness you must consult the doctor about what is the right reason behind it and the treatment. Due to that redness, irritations, and discharge are the common causes of pink eye conditions but maybe the cause is different. So, the best option is to consult the doctor because your eyes are most important.

Stye ( Hordeolum)

Style also known as hordeolum is a small bump that appears on the edge of the eyelid. That becomes due to the infection by bacteria. When the bump appears at the base of an eyelash is called the external hordeolum and when it appears inside the eyelids oil gland that is called the internal hordeolum. Identifying the style is easy and also easy to treat it.

Stye ( Hordeolum)

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • bump
  • Resemble a pimple or boil


  • Wash your hands and gently clean your eyelids with diluted baby shampoo.
  • Rinse with warm water, and dry.
  • Apply warm moist compresses for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 times a day.
  • Never pop a stye.
  • Avoid using eye makeup
  • Do not use use lenses us eyeglasses


Iritis also known as anterior uveitis is an eye condition that affects the iris (middle layer) of your eye. The iris is the colored ring that appears around the pupil, which is part of the uvea. If you leave it untreated, it can result in glaucoma or vision loss.


Acute iritis often comes on quickly and suddenly, whereas chronic iritis develops over a period lasting six to eight weeks. It can happen in both eyes at once, or just one at a time.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Eye redness
  • Discomfort or aching in the affected eye.
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Decreased vision
  • Eye pain


Must consult the doctor to determine the right cause and treatment.

  • Steroid eye drops
  • Oral or injectable steroids
  • Steroid implants in your eye

Dry Eye Syndrome:

Dry eye syndrome or simply dry eye is a common cause of eye irritation. It occurs when tear glands cannot produce enough tears or produce poor-quality tears. It is more similar to the pin eye. A dry eye is a chronic condition that comes suddenly.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Signs and Symptoms:

  • discomfort
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Decreased Vision


  • Artificial tears
  • Immunosuppressive eye drops
  • Tear duct plugs
  • Surgery


Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped tissue that is the front of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. That may not be associated with the infection. Noninfectious keratitis can be caused by a relatively minor injury, by wearing your contact lenses too long or a foreign body in the eye. This condition is misdiagnosed as the pink eye.


Signs and Symptoms:

  • Eye pain
  • Discomfort
  • Excessive tearing
  • Hazy redness
  • Discharging
  • Light sensitivity
  • Inability to open the eye


  • Use artificial tears
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Oral antibiotics or antibiotic eye drops


Blepharitis is the buildup of dead skin, bacteria, and sebum that can cause the blockage of the oil glands that occurs around the eyelid. This eye condition is misdiagnosed that it is pink eye but that is different.


Signs and Symptoms:

  • Redness.
  • Eye discharging
  • Tearing
  • Light sensitivity
  • Reduce vision
  • Crust formation on the lashes


  • Artificial tears
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroid eye drops
  • Warm compresses

When do you need to contact the Doctor?

If you feel several signs without wasting time right now contact a professional doctor.

  • You feel after a day more painful
  • Fell eye infection
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • After using eye drops and cold compression for a few days, the symptoms remain.
  • Your eyes will wake up with more mucus and crustiness.

How does pink eye spread?

Most of the bacteria and viruses are the cause of the pink eye. However, the disease is spread from one person to another by connecting the eye. Usually, it spreads from one infected person to another as:

  • Direct connect: By touching and shaking hands.
  • In direct connect: To touch the objects that have germs on them.
  • Respiratory droplets: Coughing and sneezing

How to prevent Pink Eye?

As you know, pink eyes are spread from person to person. So, there are several steps to prevent it.

  • Wash your hands frequently with good soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching the eyes by hand.
  • Do not share the towels, pillows, or makeup with another.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay at home to avoid the spread.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Can pink eyes spread through the air?

Yes, infection spreads from one person to another. So, viral and bacterial viruses are spread in the air when the affected person sneezes or coughs.

Q. What are the 3 main symptoms of pink eye?

  • Pinkness and redness in the white area of the eye.
  • Tearing
  • Painful
  • Swelling

Q. Can I go to work with pink eyes?

You may stay at home to avoid it spreading because the bacteria and viral spread easily in the air and can cause to affect another.

Wrapping Up:

I hope that you understand what is commonly misdiagnosed as pink eye. Commonly the other conditions that are considered pink eye mistakenly include Allergies, Styes, Blepharitis, and iritis.

Due to that, some of the common signs are misdiagnosed as pink eye. But remember you should always rely only on a professional for a diagnosis of symptoms you may be experiencing.

Zeeshan Tahir

Hi, This is M. Zeeshan Tahir, Junior Editor at Techbusinesinsider.com since july 2023. I am Expert in research of Updating data regarding media Industry and Business Niche. I always rooming to find out latest happenings in this Industry to write for our users. Our users requirement is our 1st preference. Researched and Proper Structured data is our Value. If any one find out any doubt in any news or blog post must reach out to us. Our Editorial Team will Check it. Thanks!

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