Patient Information Sheet 
Chlamydial Conjunctivitis

Chlamydia is a germ which infects the genitals and sometimes the eyes and throat. In men it causes inflammation of the urethra, and in women it affects the cervix.
Conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva - the mucous membrane covering the sclera, the white part of the eye.
The infection is passed on through sexual intercourse with an infected person or hand to eye contact with an infected person.

Signs and Symptoms in the Eye
Usually only one eye is affected.
Your eye will become red and have a sticky discharge - especially in the mornings.

You may also notice discharge or extra moisture in the vagina because the infection can inflame the cervix.  There may be pain or stinging sensation when passing water.  If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. This can lead to infertility.
If you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, Chlamydia can be passed on from a mother with an infection to a baby during its birth.  It can cause the baby to have an eye or lung infection.

You may also notice a burning or stinging sensation when passing water as the chlamydia affects the urethra.

The nurse or doctor will take a swab from your conjunctiva by wiping the inside of your lower lid firmly.
You will be given antibiotic eye ointment to use frequently.
The doctor will refer you to your local Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic*  where further tests are carried out.  These include a urine sample test and possibly more swabs.  The  Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic doctor will prescribe antibiotic tablets and ask you to take them for 7 to 14 days.
* No appointment is necessary for the ‘walk in’ clinic.

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