Conjunctivitis Caused by Infection - Fairview Health Services
 
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Conjunctivitis Caused by Infection

Infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. Treatment includes keeping your eyes and hands clean. Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops, and tell you to stay home from work or school if you’re contagious. Untreated infections can be serious, so it’s important that a doctor diagnoses you.

Boy rubbing eye.

Viral Infections

A cold, flu, or other virus can spread to the eyes. This causes a watery discharge. The eyes may burn or itch and get red. The eyelids may also be puffy and sore.

Treating the infections. Most viral infections go away on their own. Artificial tears and warm compresses can relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe eyedrops. A viral infection can be very contagious and spreads quickly. To prevent this, wash your hands often. Use a separate tissue to wipe each eye. Don’t touch your eyes or share bedding or towels.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections often occur in one eye. There may be a watery or a thick discharge from the eye. These infections can cause serious damage to the eye if not treated promptly.

Treating the infections. Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops or ointment to kill the bacteria. Warm compresses can help keep the eyelids clean. To keep the bacteria from spreading, wash your hands often. Use a separate tissue to wipe each eye. Don’t touch your eyes or share bedding or towels.

 

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