In rare cases, pink eye can occur due to overly dry eyes. For instance, you could end up with a nasty case of pink eye after a day of skiing if your eyes dry out due to over-exposure to wind and sun. If this occurs, you may experience a lot of tearing to re-lubricate the eye and flush out the bacteria. This re-lubrication is your eye’s natural defense to protect and heal itself.
What your eye discharges – clear fluid like tears or thick, yellow or green fluid – depends on whether you have viral or bacteria pink eye. If you experience clear fluid tearing and the pink eye isn’t from overly dry eyes, you likely have viral pink eye. Viral pink eye usually develops from cold viruses that attack the upper respiratory system. These types of viruses affect the fluids in the eyes, mouth and nose. Bacterial pink eye will cause thick, yellow or green discharge.