Conjunctivitis - how to treat, symptoms and signs, causes and types


The conjunctiva covers the posterior surface of the eyelids and the front of the eye to the cornea. If untreated, keratitis and uveitis begin to develop.


There are several classifications of conjunctivitis, depending on the cause of inflammation.

Types of disease depending on the cause of inflammation:

    Bacterial - caused by pathogenic microorganisms (streptococci, gonococci, diphtheria bacilli and the like).
    Chlamydia - occurs when chlamydia enters the conjunctival sac.
    Angular - develops under the influence of diplobacilli. It is also called angular conjunctivitis.
    Fungal - manifested as a result of the multiplication of pathogenic fungi.
    Viral - caused by a variety of viruses (herpes virus, adenovirus).
    Allergic conjunctivitis - develops under the influence of an allergic factor.
    Dystrophic - occurs under the action of substances aggressive to the mucous membranes of the eyes (paint and varnish material, chemicals)

By type of inflammation

By the type of inflammation, conjunctivitis is acute and chronic. Acute conjunctivitis has one kind - epidemic conjunctivitis.

By type of morphology changes

Classification according to the type of changes in the morphology of the mucous membrane of the eyes:

    Catarrhal secretion of mucus.
    Purulent - the formation of pus.
    Papillary - the appearance of seals in the upper eyelid.
    Hemorrhagic - the appearance of hemorrhages.
    Follicular - the appearance of follicles.
    Filmy - appears against the background of acute respiratory infections.

    Each type of conjunctivitis manifests itself in its own way and has symptoms characteristic of a particular form of the disease.

Causes of conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can occur under the action of certain factors that cause inflammatory reactions. It can be:

    Infections They are caused by pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms, chlamydia, fungi and viruses.
    Allergy. Allergic reactions can occur as a result of wearing lenses or taking medications.

    All these factors can provoke the appearance of inflammation only when they get on the mucous membrane. Conjunctivitis is transmitted by airborne droplets, through the respiratory and hearing organs, unwashed hands or develops as a result of harmful factors.

Symptoms of inflammation

There are several non-specific symptoms that are characteristic of all varieties of conjunctivitis. These include:

    Swelling and redness of the eyelids.
    Swelling of the mucosa.
    Redness of the conjunctiva.
    Reaction to the light.
    Cutting eyes.
    Sensation of “mote” in the eye.
    Discharge of pus and / or mucus.

    Most often, conjunctivitis is accompanied by hanging temperature, general weakness, catarrh of the respiratory tract and so on.

Conjunctivitis is also manifested by specific symptoms that make it possible to diagnose a specific type of inflammation. To do this, you need to conduct a series of analyzes.
Symptoms specific to each variety are described below.

Acute conjunctivitis

The second name for this conjunctivitis is epidemic. It develops as a result of contact with the Koch-Wicks stick on the mucous membrane of the eye. Acute conjunctivitis spreads rapidly from person to person.

Most often, acute conjunctivitis affects residents of Asia or the Caucasus. Epidemics happen in the fall or summer. Conjunctivitis spreads through the air or through people in contact with each other, it is very contagious.
Inflammation begins suddenly. The incubation period is up to two days. Conjunctivitis usually appears in both eyes. The mucous eyelids turn red, after which the eyes themselves blush. Redness and swelling of the lower eyelid appears. After a couple of days, mucus or pus starts to stand out, or all together. Red-brown films are formed, they can be removed from the eyes. Point bruising appears on the eyes. The patient has a specific reaction to bright light, there are pains in the eyes.

    Proper treatment will cure inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eyes in at least five days, a maximum of twenty.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

Inflammation caused by cocci bacteria is quite acute. It begins with the appearance of turbid, dense discharge of gray-yellow color. These secretions blind the eyelids together. Dry eyes and skin surrounding the eye appear. Perhaps the appearance of pain and pain. Most often, only one eye becomes inflamed, but if the disease is started and not treated, then the second eye may become inflamed.

    Conjunctivitis caused by staphylococci proceeds with the appearance of swelling and redness, the release of pus and mucus, which blinds the eyelids. There is a burning sensation, I want to constantly scratch my eyes. There is a feeling of "mote" in the eye, pain in the eyes from the light. If you do not delay treatment and use ointments or drops with antibiotics in time, you can get rid of conjunctivitis in five days.
    Conjunctivitis caused by gonococci appears in only newborns. They become infected when they pass through the birth canal, while the mother is a carrier of gonorrhea. Inflammation appears very quickly. The eyelids and mucous membranes swell strongly. Discharges of pus and mucus look like "meat slops", while they are liberated outwardly when the eye opens. After a couple of weeks, the discharge becomes liquid and green. Finally, they cease to stand out only after two months. By this time, swelling and redness subside. Treatment with antibiotic drugs should be carried out before the end of the disease.
    Conjunctivitis caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa passes with an abundant course of pus. Redness, swelling, pain appears, tears flow.
    Conjunctivitis caused by pneumococci also appears in children and is acute. First one eye becomes inflamed, and then the other. The disease begins with the appearance of pus, the eyelids swell. Point bruising is formed on the eyes. Films appear that are easily removed from the eyes. More information about the treatment of conjunctivitis in a child is written here.
    Conjunctivitis, which develops with diphtheria, is characterized by edema, redness and tightening of the eyelids. Eyes are very difficult to open. Allocations change from muddy to sucrose. Gray films appear that cannot be removed from the eyes, otherwise small bleeding areas will appear. After two weeks, the films themselves will disappear, the swelling will decrease, but the discharge will increase. After this time, the disease becomes chronic. This type of conjunctivitis may be accompanied by complications.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis

First, there is a fear of light, while the eyelids swell, and the mucous membranes turn red. The discharge of pus is small, but rather sticky. In the lower eyelid region, inflammation is most significant.

    If you do not follow the rules of hygiene, then you can transfer the inflammation to the second eye.

This type of conjunctivitis can be infected in a pool or bath while visiting a large number of people.

Viral conjunctivitis

Most often, viral conjunctivitis is caused by an adenovirus or herpes virus.

    A patient with viral conjunctivitis should be isolated from healthy people, since the disease is very contagious.

The disease proceeds with redness of the eyelids, the appearance of follicles. Easily removable films may sometimes occur. Concomitant symptoms of viral conjunctivitis: fear of light, lacrimation, blepharospasm.

Forms of adenoviral conjunctivitis:

    Filmy. Films appear that can be removed without problems. Bruising and swelling may occur.
    Catarrhal. Symptoms are not expressed. Mild redness and slight discharge appear.
    Follicular. Small bubbles appear on the conjunctiva - follicles.

Conjunctivitis caused by adenovirus can occur with fever and sore throat.

Allergic conjunctivitis


    Allergy to ophthalmic preparations or lenses.

    The type of conjunctivitis can be determined by analysis. It is necessary to determine its shape in order to select a treatment.

Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis: itching and burning, swelling, redness, fear of light, tears.

Chronic conjunctivitis

This is one of the longest-lasting inflammation. The patient is worried about the severity of the eyelids, fever, a sense of "garbage" in the eyes, pain, eyes tired when reading. In chronic conjunctivitis, redness and unevenness on the conjunctiva can be seen. Discharge of mucus is not significant.

    This form of the disease can occur under the influence of irritating factors (dust, chemicals, smoke, and so on). Conjunctivitis appears with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, with anemia, and so on.

Such conjunctivitis is treated by eliminating the irritating factor and restoring the eyes. Before a hardware diagnosis, a complete medical history is collected: contact with patients, allergens, chemicals, how long the disease has been going on, besides the symptoms described above, were there any other signs of the type of general visual impairment. Only after the full picture does the doctor prescribe the equipment room.

Angular conjunctivitis

It is called the Morax-Axenfeld bacillus. Usually wears a chronic form. Pain and itchy sensations appear in the corners of the eyes. The skin turns red there, cracks may appear. The discharge is thick and mucous, solidifies with lumps.

    Without treatment, inflammation can last for many years.

Purulent conjunctivitis

Called by coccal bacteria. The patient has abundant discharge of pus.

    In order to cure purulent conjunctivitis, it is necessary to use drugs with antibiotics.

Papillary conjunctivitis

This conjunctivitis can occur for a long time, it is a clinical form of conjunctivitis caused by allergens. With conjunctivitis, an uneven mucosa appears. Itching, pain of the eyelids. The discharge is not plentiful.

    Papillary conjunctivitis can occur as a result of constant use of lenses, prostheses for the eyes, or with prolonged contact of the eye surface with something foreign.

Catarrhal conjunctivitis

Caused by many factors (viruses, allergies, chronic). With such conjunctivitis, slight edema, redness are observed. Allocations are mucous or mucopurulent in nature. The reaction to light is not very pronounced.

    Catarrhal conjunctivitis can be cured in ten days, with no complications.

Follicular conjunctivitis

Follicles of gray-pink color appear on the membrane. The eyelids swell slightly. Redness is severe. Due to the follicles, there is an abundant secretion of tears and a pronounced closing of the eyelids.



    Inflammation is expressed for about three weeks, then a week or three weeks there is a decline. Conjunctivitis can last up to three months.

Conjunctivitis temperature

The temperature with conjunctivitis most often remains normal, but proceeding together with an infectious-inflammatory disease, it can increase.

    Temperature in this case is only a sign of infection, not conjunctivitis.

How to treat conjunctivitis

Is conjunctivitis contagious or not? And how to get rid of this ailment? Treatment of any type of conjunctivitis is based on general principles that are based on the elimination of the cause of inflammation and the use of drugs that block symptoms. To eliminate the symptoms of inflammation, drugs that must be injected into the eye are used.
When the first symptoms appear, you need to drip eye drops with an anesthetic, rinse your eyelids with antiseptics. After eliminating them, it is necessary to introduce drugs with antibiotics, antiviral components. It all depends on the cause of conjunctivitis.

    With bacterial conjunctivitis, ointments with antibiotics are used (tetracycline ointment).
    When viral - local antiviral drugs (Keretsid).
    In allergic cases - antihistamines (drops with Dibazole).

    Treatment should last until symptoms are completely eliminated. Do not use blindfolds to avoid the growth of bacteria. This will prevent the development of complications.

Conjunctivitis treatment at home

Viral conjunctivitis

Medications containing interferons are used. They are introduced into the eyes in the form of a fresh solution. The first three days - from 6 to 8 times a day, in the following days from 4 to 5 times until the symptoms are eliminated.

Up to four times a day, antiviral ointments (Bonaphthonic) should be used. If conjunctivitis is very pronounced, then Diclofenac can be used. When dry, drops such as Systein can be used.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

Throughout the treatment, it is necessary to drip Diclofenac up to 4 times a day. This will reduce inflammation. Allocations must be removed from the eyes with antiseptic solutions. To suppress the effect of microbes, you can use drops or an ointment with antibiotics (Erythromycin) in the first three days up to 6 times a day, then 2-3 times a day until the symptoms disappear.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis

In this case, you must take 1 tablet of Levofloxacin. Treatment with antibiotics is supplemented, which are used 4-5 times a day. They can be used for a long time until all symptoms are resolved.

To reduce inflammation, you can drip Diclofenac 2 times a day. With dry eyes, it is recommended to use Oftagel.

Purulent conjunctivitis

Eyes should be washed with antiseptic solutions. This will clear the eyes of the discharge. An ointment is injected into the eyes up to 3 times a day until the symptoms disappear.

Allergic conjunctivitis

Antihistamines are used 2 times a day until symptoms disappear. For better effect, anti-inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac) can be used. In severe inflammation, drops with corticosteroids (Tobradex) are used.

Chronic conjunctivitis

To reduce inflammation in the eyes you need to drip a solution of zinc sulfate and resorcinol. You can use a drug such as Protargol 2-3 times a day. At night, mercury ointment is administered.

Drugs for treatment

The Ministry of Health recommends the use of ointments and eye drops for conjunctivitis.


    Erythromycin (antibiotic);
    Tetracycline (antibiotic);
    Gentamicin (antibiotic);
    Yellow mercury (antiseptic).


    Picloxidine (antiseptic);
    Chloramphenicol (antiseptic);
    Albucid (antiseptic);
    Diclofenac (anti-inflammatory);
    Olopatodine (anti-inflammatory);
    Suprasin (antiallergic);
    Oksial (moisturizing) and so on.

Methods of treatment with folk remedies

    Traditional medicine can only be an additional treatment.

The most effective methods are considered as:

    Dill compresses. Grind dill to gruel and squeeze juice out of it. Moisten a clean cloth with it and apply to eyes for 20 minutes.
    Drops of honey. To part one part of honey in two parts of boiled water. Drip if necessary.
    Lotions of rose hips. 2 teaspoons of crushed rosehip pour a glass of boiling water. Insist half an hour, strain and make compresses.
    Lotions and washing with infusion of plantain. Pound a teaspoon of plantain seeds. Pour boiling water and insist 30 minutes.
    Datura compresses. Grind fresh leaves and pour boiling water. Insist 30 minutes and strain.

Rehabilitation therapy

As a result of inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, visual impairment can occur. Even after prolonged treatment, discomfort can sometimes be observed, but they can be eliminated with the right treatment.

Experts advise immediately after the disappearance of the unpleasant symptoms associated with conjunctivitis, to begin treatment with topical preparations that will allow you to quickly restore the damaged mucous membrane of the eye.

    One of the most effective drugs to accelerate the restoration of the mucosa is a gel based on the blood of young calves Solcoseryl.

This gel allows you to arouse metabolic reactions in the cells, as a result, the tissues of the mucous membranes recover faster. When regeneration occurs, the functioning of the eyes is also restored. The drug allows the uniform formation of tissue. Solcoseryl treatment can take up to three weeks.

Before using this medication, it is imperative to obtain the recommendations of an ophthalmologist.


Conjunctivitis is a serious problem and requires compulsory treatment. In order not to aggravate the situation, it is necessary to observe the rules of hygiene: use individual towels, linen, wash your hands, do not visit public places, do not wash yourself with water with a high content of bleach.

Proper, timely treatment will cure conjunctivitis in the shortest possible time. It is necessary to visit an ophthalmologist who will determine the form of the disease and prescribe drugs for therapy - antibacterial eye drops, antiviral or antiallergenic drugs.