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Pink Eye


Updated May 24, 2007

Definition: Pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the lining of the inside of the eyelids and the membrane on the outer surface of the white of the eye (the conjunctiva). Viruses, bacteria and fungus can all cause pink eye.

Pink Eye and Aging

As you age, your body produces fewer tears. An important function of tears is to protect the eye from particles, irritants and infectious agents. The enzymes and antibiotics in tears also help protect the eye from infection. Fewer tears mean more chance of infection.

Preventing Pink Eye

Protecting yourself from infection is the best way to prevent pink eye. Use these approaches to help prevent pink eye:
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t touch your eyes.
  • Manage dry eyes with artificial tears.
  • Change your pillowcase frequently.
  • Don’t use old eye makeup. Mascara should be thrown away after 3 months and eyeliner after 6 months from the time you opened it.
  • Don’t share face towels.

Back to Vision Problems and Aging


ADAM Medical Encyclopedia.Conjunctivitis

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