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Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection which affects the surface of the eye and inside the eyelids.

Causes

Viral Infection

Bacterial infection

Allergy

Symptoms include:

Redness

Irritation / Foreign Body Sensation

Discharge ( can be watery or sticky )

Discomfort / Pain

What is the Treatment ?

As most conjunctivitis is caused by viral infection the condition usually resolves on its own between one and three weeks. Bacterial Conjunctivitis responds to antibiotic drops. Allergic Conjunctivitis can be treated with anti-histamine eye drops.  Antibiotic drops may be given to prevent secondary infection  Artificial tears can be given to make the eye feel more comfortable  Cold compresses over the eye can alleviate the discomfort  Eye swabs may be taken especially if the condition is severe or chronic (lasting more than 3 weeks)

Are there any long term complications?

No although the eye/s can feel quite uncomfortable, there are no long term complications.  Viral Conjunctivitis is very contagious for 10 to 12 days after the onset of symptoms.  Patient should avoid touching their eyes.  Wash hands thoroughly before and after instilling eye drops

Frequent hand washing is effective in the prevention of this condition spreading to other people.  Use separate flannels and towels

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Reference 151278-A November 2006

S/N J. Colombo 20/11/06