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Last Updated: September 05, 2019
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Conjunctivitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Conjunctivitis? Complications Treatment Causes

What is Conjunctivitis?

The eyes get inflamed and red in the frontal thin tissue layer that sheaths the eye in conjunctivitis, which is a quite common condition. It is colloquially referred to as red-eye. It generally starts with one eye, but after some hours, also spreads to the other eye.


It is quite frustrating to have conjunctivitis, especially allergic conjunctivitis. Thankfully it doesn’t have serious health implications in most instances. The conjunctivitis complications are rare. When they do manifest, it might be serious. They include:

  • Extreme cases of allergic conjunctivitis might result in scarring of the eyes.
  • Infective conjunctivitis might result in the infection spreading to other body parts, and may trigger graver secondary infections like meningitis.


Conjunctivitis doesn’t usually need any treatment as the symptoms usually disappear after a few weeks. If treatment becomes necessary, it will be cause dependent. Antibiotic eye drops may be used in extremely severe cases to remove the infection. Irritant conjunctivitis clears up as and when the causative factors are removed. Antihistamine (anti allergic medicine) can be used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. The allergen should be avoided if possible. Contact lenses are best avoided till the time the symptoms clear up. Any crusty or sticky eyelid or lash coating should be cleaned carefully using water and cotton wool.

Regular hand washes and avoiding sharing towels and pillows help stop the transmission. Consult your doctor immediately if there is any:

  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Disturbance in vision
  • Severe redness in both or one of the eyes
  • Conjunctivitis in new born

School and Work

School and work shouldn’t be avoided in case of conjunctivitis unless there is extreme un-wellness. If multiple children in your child’s nursery or school have conjunctivitis, then it is best to keep your children at home till the time the infection subsides. Even adults who are working in such an environment and have close proximity should take a break from work till the time the infection is no more.


Inflamed conjunctiva may be so because of the following:

  • A viral or bacterial infection (also called infective conjunctivitis)
  • Dust mite or pollen allergies (also called allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Eye getting irritated by chlorinated water or shampoo or even a stray eye lash (also called irritant conjunctivitis)
  • Neonatal Conjunctivitis
  • Newly born babies under the age of 28 days are affected by neonatal conjunctivitis. Most instances of neonatal conjunctivitis isn’t usually serious. The mother doesn’t usually show any symptoms and thus may be unaware that they have been infected. A doctor should be consulted if there any symptoms of neonatal conjunctivitis in your baby.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am facing conjunctivitis since last one month taken nefacool but did not get any relief. What to do. Suggest me a medicine please.

MS - Ophthalmology, FRCS
Ophthalmologist, Jalandhar
Hi, if you are suffering from conjunctivitis for more than 1 month then you have to get ophthalmologist opinion and slit-lamp examination to look at how bad it is for the right treatment.
1 person found this helpful

Is zaha nd teardrops are helpful in chronic conjunctivitis. suffered from last 6 months it cured but back again after few days. What type of precautions I should take. Is chronic conjunctivitis caused vision loss.

MBBS, MS-Ophthalmology, Fellowship Vitreo Retina Surgery
Ophthalmologist, Surat
It does not cause vision loss. You can use it on and off. In case its not working you can consult the same doctor.

I have chronic conjunctivitis from nov it can not cure till now doc gave me zaha and cystone. Should I used them again or go to another doc for checkup?

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, DNB (Ophthalmology), FICO (London), FAICO -Refractive Surgery
Ophthalmologist, Gurgaon
Madam, if you have mild red eye on and off and irritation it could be dryness also along with meibomian gland disease. You may need warm compresses, lid massage etc to treat the mgd along with medication.
1 person found this helpful

Sir I had bacterial conjunctivitis. I took the medicines, it lasts for about 2 weeks. Since last 10 days my eyelid is swollen (Total 25 days suffering. I also took medicine for it, applied cold and hot compressions but nothing helped till now.

MS - Ophthalmology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, fellowship in glaucoma surgery
Ophthalmologist, Dibrugarh
You should go for a culture and sensitivity examination of conjunctival discharge and the use a proper antibiotic. Sometimes it is also difficult to exclude a viral conjunctivitis ,which may need to be treated with a mild steroid under the supervi...
1 person found this helpful

My age is 28 years old & male, my problem my both eyes allergy conjunctivitis effected. I continue 8 years allopathy doctor treatment from West Bengal but no success. Please give Solution please.

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
Allergic conjunctivitis is mostly seasonal and its severity and frequency both decrease with age. Till then, use of anti-allergic eyedrops can keep your symptoms under control.
1 person found this helpful

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