Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory
condition of the conjunctiva, the clear transparent membrane which covers
the white of the eye and lines the eyelids. There are several causes,
but the two most common are bacteria and viruses.
Signs and symptoms
Sore, gritty, red eyes, and discharge which
may be watery or sticky, depending on the cause. This makes the eyes
sticky in the mornings.
The nurse may need to take swabs to determine
the cause of the conjunctivitis. The results of your swabs are usually
known in a few days but in special cases may take several weeks.
We will contact you if they show that you need an alternative prescription.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is easily treated
with antibiotic drops or ointment. There is no direct treatment for viral
conjunctivitis. It will gradually clear up on its own, but the doctor may
prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment to prevent a secondary bacterial
Conjunctivitis is infectious, so it is important
that you follow these rules:
1. Keep your face flannel separate from those
of the rest of the family.
2. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching
3. Use tissues, should you need to wipe your
eyes, and dispose of them immediately afterwards.
4. Under no circumstances allow anyone else
to use your eye drops or ointment. Throw them away when your treatment
is finished. Never keep used bottles.