What are the signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Mar 03, 2021
  • Author: Michael A Silverman, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
  • Print


Bacterial conjunctivitis is characterized by acute onset, minimal pain, occasional pruritus, and, sometimes, exposure history. Ocular surface disease (eg, keratitis sicca, trichiasis, chronic blepharitis) predisposes the patient to bacterial conjunctivitis. Staphylococcal and streptococcal species are the most common pathogens.

Preauricular adenopathy sometimes occurs; chemosis (thickened, boggy conjunctiva) is common. The conjunctival discharge is copious, thick, and purulent, and the conjunctival injection is moderate or marked.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!