Prevention and Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Neha Mittal   by Neha Mittal, MS, Biotechnology    Last updated on October 3, 2019,

prevention and treatment of conjunctivitis


How is conjunctivitis treated?

Treatment of conjunctivitis usually depends upon the cause of the infection. Doctors sometimes prescribe eye medications such as artificial tears, eye ointments or certain remedies such as regularly cleaning eyelids with a wet cloth, using cold and warm compresses multiple times a day. A proper treatment is given only when the cause of conjunctivitis is known.

Treatment options on the basis of causes of conjunctivitis are discussed below:

Treatment of Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is known as bacterial conjunctivitis. It also includes infections related to sexually transmitted disease. Such types of pink eye infections are generally treated with antibiotics in the form of eye drops, pills and tablets or ointments.

Eye drops or ointments are applied directly in the eyes four to five times a day and pills are taken for a few days till the infection is cured. Medications should be taken properly without any gap in between the doses.

Treatment of Viral Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis caused by the viruses is commonly known as viral conjunctivitis. These viruses are also the main cause of common cold. Just as the common cold takes its full course, so is the case with viral conjunctivitis.

It also takes around four to seven days to completely heal. Viral conjunctivitis is very contagious and therefore, hand contact with the infected eye should be avoided. Unlike bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis cannot be treated with any antibiotics.

It is also advisable to avoid wearing contact lenses and makeup.

Treatment of Conjunctivitis caused by irritants

If the pink eye infection is caused because of the irritant particles, the person should immediately wash his or her eyes with water. This might help in the recovery of eyes in a few hours. But if the particles consist of any harmful chemical substance such as acid or alkaline material, the person should immediately wash his or her eye several times with clean water and contact the doctor immediately. This may prevent his or her eyes from damages.


Conjunctivitis caused by allergies usually improves once the allergy is properly treated and the allergens are removed. For temporary relief, doctors can prescribe a drug called antihistamines.

Some home remedies for conjunctivitis

Sometimes, pink eye infection can also be treated at home. But one must make sure that he or she should use home remedies only when the condition is not very severe. Following are some home-based remedies that can be used to control the pink eye infection.

An infected person can use either cold compresses or warm compresses, based on what makes him or her feel better. In case of an allergy, cold compress will be more beneficial. If the conjunctivitis is caused due to infection, warm compress can be used.

For newborn babies, breast milk is the best home remedy to treat conjunctivitis as it contains many antibodies that can help in treating the pink eye infection. Small amount of milk can be applied on the baby’s eyes with the help of a clean cotton ball.

How can conjunctivitis be prevented?

As it is said that prevention is always better than cure, here are few ways which, if followed properly, can prevent conjunctivitis largely:

  • You should always wash your hands with soap and water before cleaning your eyes or applying eye drops
  • Try to avoid rubbing your eyes as it may worsen the existing infection
  • While cleaning your eyes, use clean and sterile cloth or cotton and dispose them soon after use
  • Use minimum of contact lenses
  • Never share your eye makeup kits and ointments with any person
  • Clean your pillow case regularly.
  • Avoid making an eye contact with the person having conjunctivitis

In case of children suffering from conjunctivitis, don’t allow them to attend school as they may spread the infection to other students in school also.

Preventing conjunctivitis in newborn babies

Newborn babies are more susceptible to conjunctivitis when they are in their mother’s womb. Though these bacteria do not cause any complication in mother, it might trigger the infection in baby when he or she is born. So as to prevent the infection, an antibiotic ointment is applied on his or her eyes.

As your eyes are the most sensitive part of the body and are daily exposed to the outer surroundings, it is very important to nourish them, take care of them and prevent any sort of infection that may damage them.

Never overlook even the slightest of the symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as you feel that something is not right with them. Always be attentive towards your eyes as it helps you to see and cherish your surroundings.

Neha Mittal

Neha Mittal completed graduation in Biotechnology from Graphics Era University, Dehradun and Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University, Noida. In the past, she worked with Sharon Biomedicine Ltd., DUKES Products Ltd., and Forest Research Institute, Dehradun as researcher in biotechnology.


Neha loves singing and dancing in leisure time. She also enjoys traveling and maintains a collection of great novels.

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