The most common cause for pink eye is a virus. This usually comes from a viral cold, sore throat or flu. As with most viral infections, the body will improve its immunity and clear the virus and the effects of the infection (such as pink eye). Therefore no antibiotics are necessary to cure a viral pink eye. Like most viral infections pink eye is easily spread by close contact and the infected patient should be careful not to spread this germ to others.
Bacterial conjunctivitis usually presents with thick discharge and will respond to antibiotics.It tends to be less easily spread but still should be isolated from others. It is often difficult for a patient to tell if a oink eye is viral or bacterial.