Viral pink eye usually runs its course in one to three weeks. Because it is not caused by bacteria, viral conjunctivitis does not respond to antibiotics, and can be highly contagious. Artificial tears will also help relieve symptoms of viral pink eye.
Pink eye caused by the herpes virus can be very serious and may be treated with prescription antiviral eye drops, ointment, and/or antiviral pills.
For bacterial pink eye, the treatment will be antibiotic eye drops or ointment. This generally clears the symptoms within a few days. Be sure to complete the full course of antibiotic therapy. For more stubborn cases, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. Oral antibiotics are routinely prescribed for pink eye caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia. Sexual partners are also treated.
Allergic pink eye should respond to topic vasoconstrictors, antihistamines, or steroid eye drops. Repeating an earlier warning, you should never apply steroid drops for any eye symptoms without a doctor's prescription.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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