Diagnosis of Pinkeye

Conjunctivitis is diagnosed by performing a thorough eye examination, using a hand-held microscope called an ophthalmoscope that allows a magnified look at the eye. In some cases, the physician sends a sample of mucus from the eye to a laboratory to determine what kind of conjunctivitis is present.

It is important to contact your child's physician when eye symptoms (e.g., excess tearing and mucus, hazy vision, redness, itching) develop. Other conditions, such as a sty or another infection of the eyelid, can cause similar symptoms and should be ruled out. In some cases, symptoms can indicate a serious medical condition.

If any of these symptoms appear, contact your child's physician immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • Blurred vision, double vision, or seeing halos around objects
  • Eye symptoms that last more than 2 weeks
  • High fever, shaking chills, face pain, or vision loss
  • Severe eye pain or pain that occurs when looking into a bright light
  • Yellow or green discharge from the eyes

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 08 Sep 2015