It is not always clear when you are developing a case of pink eye. This is because there are so many eye conditions out there, many of which have similar symptoms, that it can get confusing. Knowing the early signs of pink eye can help you get it treated as soon as possible, or at least know to stay home from work or school.
The First Signs
The initial symptom of this condition is when you feel like you have debris in your eye, such as sand or an eyelash. You may look for it, opening your eye wide in front of a mirror, only to find nothing. If you feel this sensation in both of your eyes, this is likely a definite sign of pink eye, since the bacterial type usually occurs in both eyes at the same time.
Progression of Pink Eye
Once you have noticed the irritated feeling in one or both eyes, it may take a day or so to notice a change in your eye’s color. It will likely look pink or red, and the feeling of debris in your eye will likely still be there. It will probably also be accompanied by excessive watering, such as how you feel when you have a cold or sinus congestion.
Pain, pressure, and itchiness are other signs of pink eye that will eventually show up. At this point, you will probably feel the need to sleep more than usual as your body tries to fight off the infection, whether bacterial or viral. You will then notice that in the mornings, you have crust on your eye, which is a result of either clear or yellow discharge drying while you sleep.
If you notice any of these signs of pink eye, it is likely time to make a doctor appointment. If you have reason to believe that it is pink eye early on, perhaps due to the feeling of debris in both eyes or recent exposure to others who have pink eye, you should stay home from work to avoid spreading it. In all cases, a visit to the doctor is advised.