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 from over-exposure to wind and sun. In this case, you may experience a lot of tearing as the eye tries to re-lubricate and flush out the bacteria. This re-lubrication is your eye’s natural defense to protect and heal itself.
The discharge of the eye will help determine whether you have the viral or bacterial pink eye infection. 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.