Encyclopedia Home / C / Conjunctivitis


  • Alternative Names

    Inflammation - conjunctiva; Pink eye


    Treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the cause.

    Allergic conjunctivitis may respond to allergy treatment. It may disappear on its own when the allergen that caused it is removed. Cool compresses may help soothe allergic conjunctivitis.

    Antibiotic medication, usually eye drops, is effective for bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis will disappear on its own. Many doctors give a mild antibiotic eyedrop for pink eye to prevent bacterial conjunctivitis.

    You can soothe the discomfort of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis by applying warm compresses (clean cloths soaked in warm water) to your closed eyes.

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    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outcome is usually good with treatment.


    Reinfection within a household or school may occur if you don't follow preventive measures.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if your symptoms last longer than 3 or 4 days.