Bacterial conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva, the
clear inside lining of the eyelids and the covering over the white
of the eye. The term "conjunctivitis" refers to inflammation of the
conjunctiva due to one of many causes, some infectious and others
not. Although bacterial conjunctivitis is less common than viral
conjunctivitis, it is slightly contagious. Antibiotics are required
to treat it. Your child is more likely to have bacterial
conjunctivitis if contact lenses are worn or if your child is often
around many other children as in day care or school.
SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:
• Are usually seen in one eye first then spread soon to the other
• Matted, swollen eyelid, especially first thing in the morning
• Yellowish discharge
• Redness of the eyelid
• Sensitivity to light
• Gritty feeling
WHAT YOUR DOCTOR CAN DO:
• Diagnose the disease by taking a culture of the eye discharge.
• Prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to help fight the
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• Use the drops or ointment as prescribed, being certain to use them
for at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Otherwise, the
infection may return.
• Use warm water compresses frequently. This will soften the crust
that develops and make the eye feel better.
• Avoid touching the eyedropper to anything, including your eye.
• Avoid wearing contact lenses until the infection has cleared.
• Avoid touching the infected eye or eyes.
• If infection does spread to the other eye, follow the same
instructions for that eye.
• Throw away eye makeup and sanitize contact lenses to avoid
To prevent the spread to others:
• Wash your hands immediately after using the compresses or
• DO NOT share eye make-up, washcloths, or hand towels with anyone
else while infected.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
• Symptoms should improve within 2-3 days of beginning treatment and
the infection should clear completely in one week.
• A possible complication, if not thoroughly treated, is the
spreading of infection to other parts of the eye, causing
disturbances to vision or permanent eye damage.
CALL 1061 OR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE If symptoms do not improve within 3 days. A
change of medication may be necessary. If you have changes to your vision or other
worsening of symptoms.