What is the Treatment for Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, occurs when the conjunctiva is inflamed. The conjunctiva is the thin, clear tissue that sits over the white part of the eye and lines the inner eyelid. Though pink eye is highly contagious, especially among children, it is rarely serious. As long as you catch the symptoms quickly, you can get fast relief and prevent damage. 

If you feel that you are afflicted with conjunctivitis symptoms, it is crucial to see an eye doctor who would be able to diagnose the condition. Some doctors may confirm pinkeye over the phone and instruct you on what to do. If the inflammation is serious or accompanied by other symptoms, your eye specialist may perform a culture to determine the location and reason for the inflammation. Viruses, bacteria, irritants, parasites, fungi and allergic reactions can all cause conjunctivitis. 

What are the Treatment Options for Pink Eye?

Once your eye specialist knows what is causing the inflammation, they can recommend proper treatment. Here are the common causes of conjunctivitis: 


Pinkeye is usually caused by a virus. Symptoms may last for 4-7 days, and treatment is focused on relieving symptoms. Your doctor may recommend hot and cold compresses, washing the eyelid with a warm cloth and using eye drops. Viruses are contagious, so follow these tips to prevent the spread of pinkeye. 


If the pinkeye is caused by bacteria, a retina doctor in Brooklyn will recommend antibiotic eye drops, ointments or pills to kill the infection. Bacterial conjunctivitis is often accompanied by discharge and pus. If your symptoms do not get better after 5-7 days, schedule a new appointment. A new course of antibiotics may be needed to wipe out the infection. 


When allergies are the culprit, you’ll want to get the underlying irritants treated. Antihistamines help a lot of people manage their symptoms, though keep in mind that they can dry out the eyes. That said, antihistamines are usually the safest way to treat a wide range of allergy symptoms. If it seems like only your eyes are affected, talk to your eye specialist about using localized allergy eye drops instead. 


If the conjunctivitis is caused by irritants that you are using, such as shampoos, conditioners, and hairsprays, symptoms should improve gradually. If you get one of these products in your eyes, wash the eyes out thoroughly and avoid rubbing. However, some products, such as bleach, acid or alkaline, warrant a trip to the doctor or emergency room. 

For the most part, conjunctivitis is not serious. But, it can be highly contagious and difficult to eradicate if you are not careful. For more specialized care in treating eye infections, contact our ophthalmologist doctor in New York.