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Doctor insights on: Can Acyclovir Cure Viral Conjunctivitis

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Should you go to work if you have viral conjunctivitis?

Should you go to work if you have viral conjunctivitis?

Viral conjunctivitis: Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is redness & swelling of the conjunctiva. People may be concerned if they see you at work because it can be contagious.

Dr. Jon Fishburn
754 Doctors shared insights

Conjunctivitis (Definition)

An inflammation of the thin mucous membrane that lines the front surface of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids. As the inflammation increases, it causes tiny blood vessels to dilate, thus leading to a ...Read more


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Bacterial vs viral conjunctivitis appearance?

Bacterial vs viral conjunctivitis appearance?

Pus and edema: Bacterial conjunctivitis is not common in adults but occurs in children more often. I usually will have much more swelling, pus in the cul de sac, and much crusting and debris. Viral conjunctivitis is often bilateral, makes the eyes red all over, and has a clear to yellowish secretion but not pus (which is cloudy white). Your ophthalmologist can make this distinction and given you the best rx.

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How can you distinguish between bacterial and viral conjunctivitis in babies?

How can you distinguish between bacterial and viral conjunctivitis in babies?

Most are viral: Most conjunctivitis (pink eye) is viral or allergic. The whites of the eyes are red with clear or mucous discharge. In bacterial conjunctivitis, there is little redness and there usually are not cold symptoms. In addition, there is often a thick, yellow pus discharge from the eye.

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Can viral conjunctivitis cause a headache?

Can viral conjunctivitis cause a headache?

Possibly: Viral conjunctivitis can sometimes be a part of a larger viral infection. The systemic viral infection can cause headaches. A viral infection confined to the eye can cause photophobia, which can cause a headache.

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Should children be sent to school if they have viral conjunctivitis?

Should children be sent to school if they have viral conjunctivitis?

No: Viral conjunctivitis is contagious and treatment should be initiated before the return to school. Most schools will send this children home.

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Bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, how can I tell?

Bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, how can I tell?

Bacterial: In general, bacterial conjunctivitis will present with purulent discharge that occurs at the lid margins and in the corner of the eye. The discharge is generally thick and yellow/green/white.

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Is there a good way to get rid of viral conjunctivitis?

Is there a good way to get rid of viral conjunctivitis?

Time: Viral conjunctivitis, like a viral respiratory infection runs its course over a 10-14 day period of time. Medications taken durning a viral illness, be it in the eye or other or system are supportive only. They protect from bacterial superinfections and treat the symptoms of the viral infection.

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Can viral conjunctivitis be exacerbated by contact lenses?

Can viral conjunctivitis be exacerbated by contact lenses?

Yes: Contact lenses and eye infections are dangerous combination. If your eyes are red and irritated, DO NOT WEAR CONTACTS, and see your eye doctor.

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Should I have been given paracetamol for viral conjunctivitis?

Should I have been given paracetamol for viral conjunctivitis?

Paracetamol: If you are in pain, you can take paracetamol but not for viral conjunctivitis alone.

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When is it necessary to get medical treatment for viral conjunctivitis?

When is it necessary to get medical treatment for viral conjunctivitis?

See Below: If the condition fails to resolve over the next few days or worsens at any point. Presence of membranes around the eye or decreased vision should also prompt seeing your doctor.

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I need help! How do I know if I have bacterial or viral conjunctivitis?

I need help! How do I know if I have bacterial or viral conjunctivitis?

It may not be: Possible for you to distinguish between the two.

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How can you distinguish between bacterial and viral conjunctivitis in adults?

Physical exam: Bacterial and viral infections have very different finding on examination.

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What is the difference between viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis?

What is the difference between viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis: Viral conjunctivitis often involves both eyes and does not improve with oral or topical antibiotics. Bacterial forms usually starts in one eye, is associated with thick colored eye discharge and is treated with antibacterial eye drops or ointments

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Please advise what is the difference between viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis?

Please advise what is the difference between viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis?

Bacterial: In general, bacterial conjunctivitis will present with purulent discharge that occurs at the lid margins and in the corner of the eye. The discharge is generally thick and yellow/green/white.

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A Ophthalmologists diagnosed viral conjunctivitis steroids were given.5 wks later my vision is still blurry but improving very slowly, is this normal?

A Ophthalmologists diagnosed viral conjunctivitis steroids were given.5 wks later my vision is still blurry but improving very slowly, is this normal?

Atypical but possibl: Vital keratoconjunctivitis can take many weeks to resolve, depending on the type of virus. It's important to be followed carefully & tapered gradually with the topical steroid drops. Blurry vision still may take awhile to recover, & infrequently sub-epithelial corneal scars can remain and, if centrally located, can affect visual acuity. An update refraction needed to assess your best vision

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How can one avoid getting viral conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis: Being exposed to someone with conjunctivitis does not necessarily imply that you will catch the infection. Having said that, after being exposed, do not touch that person or allow that person to touch you. Stay some distance from him/her just in case s/he sneezes or coughs on you. If that happens, take a shower and if not, at least wash your hands and face.

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What's the difference between viral conjunctivitis and pink eye?

What's the difference between viral conjunctivitis and pink eye?

Usually the same: Most "pink eye" is caused by viral conjunctivitis, in which case they're the same. However, a bacterial conjunctivitis, though less common, could cause the same symptoms and be referred to as pink eye, and there are other conditions that can make the eye look red.

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Dr. Cornelius O'leary jr
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