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
Pinkeye infections caused by certain other infections (such as
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
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.