Back-To-School Time #1: What is Pinkeye?

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the inflammation (redness, swelling, etc.) of the thin tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.  Pinkeye or conjunctivitis can be spread when hands become contaminated by direct contact with discharge from the infected eye or by touching other surfaces that have been contaminated by the secretions of the infected eye(s). 

The following are the different types of pinkeye (conjunctivitis):


  • Red or pink, itchy, painful
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Eyes may be crusted shut in the morning
  • May affect one or both eyes


  • Pink, swollen, watery eyes that may be light sensitive
  • Usually only affects one eye


  • Itchy, red and excessive tearing
  • Usually affects both eyes


  • Red, watery eyes, especially after swimming in chlorinated water

The following are measures for controlling the spread of pinkeye:

  • Wash hands before and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Sanitize objects that are commonly touched by hands or face such as counters, tables, doorknobs, railings, telephones, blankets, toys, etc.
  • If you believe that you or your child may have pinkeye, contact your health care provider or pediatrician

For more information about pinkeye/conjunctivitis, please go to the following websites:

If you have any questions, please contact the Teaneck Public Health Nurse at:  (201) 227-6251.

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