Adult Pink Eye is Crazy Expensive to Treat and Annoying

The last two months have been “kicking my butt” physically. After a bout bronchitis where I tried to talk myself out of getting sick, I also developed pink eye. And not the standard pink eye that reacts to antibiotics. Turns out adult pink eye is usually VIRAL pink eye which requires the sufferer (me) to wait it out. After several weeks of suffering and visits to my family doctor who recommended I see an ophthalmologist, I got the final diagnosis. I’ve got about another week of suffering before I can be back to my old self. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve spent, including my affiliate links and background information.


Adult Pink Eye is Crazy Expensive to Treat and Annoying


(I had to add several watermarks in hopes that no one will steal my photos and add them to some weird medical site.)

This is how my irritated eyelids looked after a few weeks of viral pink eye. Swollen and even the skin was splitting from wiping my tears and mucus away. I wore sunglasses anytime I left the house. I had a few people ask me, “Ma’am, are you OK?” I think the Chik Fil A worker in the drive thru was going to call 9-11 when he saw how many tears were streaking down my face, but I reassured him I wasn’t having a nervous breakdown. In fact, I was directly across the street from my doctor’s office. Speaking of doctors, let me break down the madness and ridiculousness of treating adult pink eye.

Expenses to Treat Pink Eye

Over-the-counter medications: $40 (saline, eye drops, and colloidal silver)

These only temporarily relieved the appearance of redness.

Doctor’s co-pays for three visits: $35 (family doctor visit) + $35 (family doctor visit) + $40 (specialist visit) = $110 + unknown out-of-pocket expenses. I’m still waiting on the bills for the remainder balances on these visits.

Like most families, we have high deductible insurance and since I got sick at the beginning of the year, all deductibles were renewed.

First round prescribed medications:  $181 & $260 = I called back to the doctor and asked for generic and low-cost medications.

I still can’t grasp how tiny vials of antibiotics and steroid eye drops cost $100 – $300 per dose.

All I could think when I was picking up these prescriptions at the Kroger pharmacy was that if I had a chronic illness, I’d probably be broke. Thankfully, A.J.’s asthma daily medications are available through mail order with no out-of-pocket as I explained on the Mommy Talk Show Facebook page.

Second prescribed medications: $39, $3, $17, $13, $3 and $10 =$85

Projected total: With co-payments and prescriptions, I expect this round of adult pink eye to cost me between $400-$500.

Let that marinate in your head for a minute as our family prepares for summer camp expenses, summer travel oh and the check engine light just lit up on my high mileage car.

Every time I went to the pharmacy and paid for medication, all I could think was – what if I had a chronic illness? How would I afford it?

These pharmaceutical companies are making a killing off of us!


I never knew how badly I’d miss wearing makeup. I haven’t worn foundation, eye makeup or even used many moisturizers out of fear of irritating my eyelids. I miss my blue shimmery eyeshadow and mascara. I loved the look I wore at Listen to Your Mother Atlanta in 2016.

I’ve also got a Sephora gift card that’s been burning a whole in my wallet to use.

But first, I’ve got to be itch and ooze free. I also threw out the mascara and eyeliner I wore last time we went on a date night. Damn, that hurt.

Atlanta Listen to Your Mother

Instead of getting on camera to video blog, A.J. was kind enough to become the focus of my video of the 2017 Atlanta Fair.

I’m also waiting on a new pair of eyeglasses from since my vision has gotten worse since I had lasik eye surgery about 10 years ago to correct my near-sightedness. I’d love to share my upcoming review of ordering eyeglasses online. If you subscribe to the Mommy Talk Show feed, you won’t miss it!

Comment below: Have you ever developed pink eye as an adult? Did you ever have a flare up or skin condition that kept you from wearing makeup for awhile? How’d you handle it emotionally?

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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