When it comes to making medical decisions, particularly those involving children, it is important that parents and eye doctors are on the same page. Sometimes, however, it only takes misunderstanding of a term in a diagnosis to create a divide. Case in point comes from a recent study in which researchers used the term “pink eye” to describe a conjunctivitis diagnosis with parents. As it turns out, upon hearing the “pink eye” diagnosis, parents were much more likely to insist on antibiotic treatment even after being told that antibiotics were not necessary. On the other hand, parents who received an “eye infection” diagnosis only wanted antibiotics when they believed that antibiotics would be effective.
P.S. Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” can be caused by bacteria (which respond to antibiotics), viruses (which do not respond to antibiotics), or allergic reactions.