Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatment

Bacterial ConjunctivitisContrary to popular belief, bacterial conjunctivitis is actually less common than that caused by virus. There seems to be a significant amount of confusion therefore regarding pink eye contagious period as it relates to bacteria caused pink eye.

Have you ever had someone come to work with pink eye and say the famous phrase “I’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours, I’m fine.” Then, magically, 3 or 4 of your co workers come down with the dreaded ailment within a few days or even a few weeks. The incubation period for pink eye not only varies, it can be extensive, so staying home when infected becomes even more imperative during this critical time.

If you are suffering from the most common form of pink eye, adenoviral conjunctivitis, the “24 hour” period that you’ve been on antibiotics is pointless and your coworkers will thank you later when their eyes look like they’ve been awake for six weeks and using cornstarch for eye shadow. Bacterial conjunctivitis, however, is treatable with antibiotics, and if that is genuinely the source of your symptoms, you can safely return to work just a day after treatment beginnings without unleashing the plague on your office’s accounting department.

Bear in mind that if your immune system is depressed, you may want to stay home an extra day and give those antibiotics a chance to work. They may take just a bit longer, and you should look for some symptom improvement (although it won’t have cleared fully of course) before popping on your suit and heading out the door. You should still practice exceptionally high hygiene during this time, better safe than sorry.

One of the most important parts of not only bacterial conjunctivitis but also viral (adenoviral) conjunctivitis, follicular conjunctivitis and pretty much any condition that causes discharge, swelling, pain and discomfort is home treatment. Antibiotics will help treat your condition from within and are pretty much the only medical care you will be afforded during this time, but it will do little to tend to your symptoms in the beginning. This is where home care comes in.

Compresses are going to provide a substantial amount of relief to your symptoms. You can try cold or warm, whichever feels better to you. Make sure the compress is clean, and that if your “good eye” isn’t infected yet, that you don’t accidentally schlep your compress into the unaffected eye. Make sure you use a different compress each time. Ideally, the compress should be cleaned prior to each use. You will also want to clean the eye. This should be done gently, and from the inside of the eye to the outside of the eye. You will want to make sure that if you are using something disposable to clean the eye, that it is tossed immediately, and if using a soft cloth, that it is laundered immediately, or at a minimum kept out of the reach of others. Preventing the spread is also an important part of treatment, because if it gets to a residing family member, guess where it’s coming next…..

Pinkeye is a very contagious illness, but it is rarely serious. Bacterial form of this illness, thankfully, is very easily treatable with antibiotics, and requires far less “off time” than it’s long winded cousin. With prompt medical attention, you certainly can be right as rain in no time.

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