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How to Treat Conjunctivitis

 

When I have a flare up of Conjunctivitis, Do I need to be treating that first and foremost via antibiotic drops or still just keep on with dry eye products?

Viral pink eye. If it’s truly viral, antibiotics are not going to do anything for that. You’re better off, if you’re using an artificial tear, just using that because the antibiotic isn’t going to do anything for a viral pink eye. I know that’s what they give kids and everybody else when they come in for pink eye a lot of the time but the antibiotic really won’t do anything. The best you can do is really stick to your dry eye treatments that you’re doing. A lot of the time we hear that conjunctivitis of some sort or some type of eye inflammation is what caused people’s dry eye, and that’s very possible. So it could be what kind of set it off, or it could have been something around that time as well that set it off. Lots of different changes can cause dry eye so I would just continue on that dry eye treatment that you’re doing. Obviously, if you’ve got something that needs an antibiotic or you have an infection then yes, use the antibiotic to get that cleared up.

If you ever have a flare-up like viral conjunctivitis or bacterial we always recommend going on our spray just because it is a natural antiseptic and it helps boost your immune system so just spraying it on your eyelids will help decrease the spread and get that bacteria under control. Viral conjunctivitis has no real treatment for it, you can just kind of let it do it’s course which usually takes about 14 days or so. Seven days to come on, seven days to be on, seven days to go away. Bacterial conjunctivitis is so rare and most doctors put antibiotics on everything. When I first started practicing I signed something that said I had to choose one or the other; an antibiotic or a steroid. I choose a steroid more often when I started practicing, which pretty much meant that I would not prescribe an antibiotic unless I absolutely knew it was the bacteria. I think I prescribed  an antibiotic five times in my 10 years of practicing because most of the time it’s inflammation that’s causing your pink eye. If it’s truly in need of an antibiotic and it’s a bacterial conjunctivitis, it’s going to be yellow, goopy with thick discharge and you don’t really see that because it’s actually pretty rare.

 

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Dr. Jenna Zigler and Dr. Travis Zigler

Dr. Travis Zigler and Dr. Jenna Zigler answer your questions LIVE on Sundays at 7:00pm EST.

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