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What Is Commonly Misdiagnosed As Pink Eye? Facts To Know!

Conjunctivitis generally known as Pink eye is a common contagious eye condition that causes redness and itching in the eyes. Because of its general symptoms, ...

by Kendra Reed

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Conjunctivitis generally known as Pink eye is a common contagious eye condition that causes redness and itching in the eyes. Because of its general symptoms, other eye conditions are often mistaken for pink eye. The primary step is to examine your symptoms carefully and take appropriate steps before jumping to conclusions. This article explores the common misdiagnosis of the health conditions associated with your eyes.

What Is Pink Eye?

A thin mucus membrane covers the outer surface of your eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelid called the conjunctiva. It secretes mucus and tears which helps protect against any external irritants and helps retain moisture.

The inflammation or infection associated with the conjunctiva is called conjunctivitis or pink eye.  It can be caused due to plenty of factors including bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or environmental changes, and is contagious. Redness, itching, and discharge from the eyes are all a part of the symptoms of pink eye although it is not exclusive.

Pink Eye

When To Take Help

If you are experiencing symptoms that are similar to pink eye, it is advised first to patiently wait and see if it goes away. If the symptoms include severe pain, redness, and vision loss, seek medical help as soon as possible. The symptoms might be due to other eye conditions such as keratitis or iritis which are even more complicated and require proper care and treatment.

Furthermore, discomforts that persist even after treating pink eye might be because of other eye ailments. It is always better to consult a healthcare professional and make a proper diagnosis before trying out any treatments.

Conditions Commonly Misdiagnosed as pink eye

Several eye conditions share symptoms with pink eye, often leading to misdiagnosis. Understanding the common eye conditions can help you differentiate conjunctivitis from more serious issues that can threaten your eye health if not properly diagnosed and treated.


Some people might be allergic to certain things such as dust, pollen, etc. The common allergic symptoms include redness and itching in the eyes, swelling in the eyelids, watery eyes, and other symptoms like sneezing and running nose. People often mistake allergies for pink eye but allergies usually get better by using anti-histamine eyedrops.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Not producing enough tears in the eyes can cause dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes may cause redness, irritation, watery eyes, and discomfort. Screen time exceeding the limit, environmental factors, and specific medications can all contribute to the drying of the eyes. You can use artificial tears or eye drops to treat dry eye syndrome per your medical professional’s advice.

✅ Styes

Styes is a tiny red bump that usually appears either along the ashes or on the edge of the eyelid. It has symptoms similar to pink eye and is often mistaken for the same. The bump is caused as a result of a bacterial infection or an inflammation and is accompanied by a crusty discharge, unlike pink eye which has a sticky discharge. You can treat styes at your home and consult your doctor if it starts affecting your vision.

✅ Keratitis

When the cornea gets irritated in any way, it leads to inflammation causing a condition known as keratitis. It causes redness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain which is mostly caused due to a bacterial or viral infection. You can use anti-bacterial,anti-viral, or anti-fungal eye drops to treat keratitis while Non-infectious keratitis can be treated using artificial tears. 

✅ Iritis

Iritis is the inflammation of the iris or uvea which is the middle part of the eye. It can affect both eyes and is caused by various factors such as an infection or other medical conditions. The symptoms are almost similar to pink eye which are redness, discomfort, and impaired vision. Antibiotics and steroid eye drops can be used to treat the condition.

✅ Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition where the oil glands along the lash line get blocked due to the build-up of dead skin cells and bacteria resulting in inflammation and redness. The symptoms include blurred vision, redness, eye pain, and crust formation on the lashes. Eyes can feel dry and can be treated using antibiotics or steroids.

Also Read:- How To Remove Lash Extensions? Find Easy Ways!


While pink eye is considered a common condition that can be caused to due to infection or inflammation in the eyes, it can often be misdiagnosed with other eye conditions because of the similarity in the symptoms. You should be very careful while diagnosing the condition as it is crucial for suitable treatment and avoiding complications. You can only provide effective treatment with proper diagnosis.

Make sure to seek medical help if you suffer from persistent and severe symptoms to ensure you are getting the right treatment.  Always remember to stay cautious and informed when it comes to your health.

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