Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Conjunctivitis Overview

What is conjunctivitis?
A person with conjunctivitis has inflammation of the clear membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelids. In most cases, the inflammation is due to an infection or allergy. Conjunctivitis is very common and complications are rare. Symptoms include eye redness, swelling and tearing, which resolve within 2 weeks.

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Symptoms of conjunctivitis include eye pain, eye redness, increased tearing, eye discharge, and eyelids that are stuck together upon waking.

How does the doctor treat conjunctivitis?
Treatment for conjunctivitis that is caused by an infection includes cleansing eyelashes with warm wet compresses, saline wash, and antibiotic eyedrops or ointment.

Continue to Conjunctivitis Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Conjunctivitis References
  1. Bielory L, Lien KW, Bigelsen S. Efficacy and tolerability of newer antihistamines in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis. Drugs. 2005;65(2):215-28. [15631542]
  2. Bonini S. Atopic keratoconjunctivitis. Allergy. 2004 Aug;59 Suppl 78:71-3. [15245362]
  3. Mabey D, Fraser-Hurt N, Powell C. Antibiotics for trachoma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD001860. [15846624]
  4. Smith J. Bacterial conjunctivitis. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):926-32. [15865690]
  5. Teoh DL, Reynolds S. Diagnosis and management of pediatric conjunctivitis. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2003 Feb;19(1):48-55. [12592117]
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