Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is an eye infection caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common eye infections among both children and adults and is highly contagious. Symptoms typically include redness and irritation of the eye, as well as a yellow or green discharge. Treatment typically involves antibiotics, either in the form of eyedrops or ointment.

These are the common signs and symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis:

  • Soreness, burning or itching of the eyes
  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • A yellow or greenish discharge from the eye
  • Sticky eyes in the morning

The diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis is typically made based on the symptoms and signs. A healthcare provider may also take a sample of the discharge in order to culture it and better identify the exact cause of the infection.

Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis typically involves antibiotics. Antibiotics may be applied directly to the eye in the form of eyedrops or ointment, or they may be taken by mouth. Treatment typically lasts from 7 to 14 days, depending on the severity of the infection.

In order to prevent the spread of bacteria, the following steps should be taken:

  • Wash hands frequently, especially before touching the eyes
  • Avoid sharing items that may come into contact with the eyes
  • Avoid touching the eyes, especially with unwashed hands
  • Discard eye makeup and use new makeup when symptoms have cleared
  • Discard contact lenses and/or contact lens cases when symptoms have cleared

In cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection can lead to serious complications, such as vision loss or permanent scarring of the eye.