What is the classic presentation of acute conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Mar 03, 2021
  • Author: Michael A Silverman, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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In classic presentations, patients complain of eyelids sticking together on waking. They may describe itching and burning or a gritty, foreign-body sensation. Pus sliding across the eye may distort vision, although visual acuity is normal. Photophobia is minimal. Family members with similar complaints typically present with conjunctivitis from an infectious cause. A history of a recent upper respiratory infection (URI) is typically associated with a viral cause.

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