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Bacterial vs viral conjunctivitis appearance?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
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