Family Health Guide

You are here

Eye Irritations: Diagnosis


Physical symptoms can help you differentiate between bacterial and viral pinkeye. Remember that thick, goopy discharge accompanies bacterial pinkeye; a respiratory infection or cold typically accompanies viral pinkeye; and itchiness accompanies allergic pinkeye. A doctor will look at these symptoms and closely examine the conjunctiva to determine what type of pinkeye your child has. Doctors generally skip doing a culture – they take days and aren’t reliable.

Blocked Tear Duct

The main way to differentiate a blocked tear duct from another eye condition is to see if your baby's tears are constantly welling up in her eyes when he or she is not crying.