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Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is where your eyes are red and sore. It's usually caused by an infection or allergy.

Conjunctivitis usually makes your eyes red, itchy and uncomfortable.

Conjunctivitis usually gets better on its own. Washing your eyelids with clean water can help. You may need antibiotics if it's caused by bacteria.

To avoid spreading conjunctivitis, avoid rubbing your eyes, wash your hands regularly and avoid sharing towels and pillows.

Read more on the NHS website.

Conjunctivitis usually makes your eyes red, itchy and uncomfortable.

Check if you have conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye.

It usually affects both eyes and makes them:

A sticky eye producing pusConjunctivitis that produces sticky pus is contagious.

A red and gritty eye caused by conjunctivitisIf eyes are red and feel gritty, the conjunctivitis is also usually contagious.

A red and watery eye caused by conjunctivitisConjunctivitis caused by allergies like hay fever makes eyes red and watery but is not contagious.

Read more on the NHS website.

Conjunctivitis usually gets better on its own. Washing your eyelids with clean water can help. You may need antibiotics if it's caused by bacteria.

Self-care

There are things you can do to help ease your symptoms.

Use clean cotton wool (1 piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down before you:

  • gently rub your eyelashes to clean off crusts
  • hold a cold flannel on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down

Do not wear contact lenses until your eyes are better.

Medical treatments

Treatment will depend on the cause of your conjunctivitis.

If it's a bacterial infection you might be prescribed antibiotics. But these will not work if it's caused by a virus (viral conjunctivitis) or an allergy.

Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause conjunctivitis. This type takes longer to clear up.

Read more on the NHS website.

To avoid spreading conjunctivitis, avoid rubbing your eyes, wash your hands regularly and avoid sharing towels and pillows.

Read more on the NHS website.