Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Learn more about Bacterial Conjunctivitis, including The Symptoms, The Causes, and The Treatments.

The information below is not intended for self diagnose of an eye condition. If you are worried or suffering from an eye problem, please call us on 0208 524 2887 and book in to see us.

Bhavita Magudia
Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Explained
February 3, 2019
Back to Common Eye Conditions

What Is Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis also referred to by some patients as a pink eye or conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Bacterial conjunctivitis usually occurs in both eyes, with one eye maybe affected before the other eye.

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the clear layer (conjunctiva) that covers the white of your eye (sclera). The conjunctiva which is the clear layer, has many blood vessels, when you have inflammation these blood vessels dilate and your eyes will look red and bloodshot.

Bacterial conjunctivitis can be passed on through direct contact with someone already suffering with bacterial conjunctivitis and then touching your eyes. Touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching your eyes. Children and adults can pass bacterial conjunctivitis to each other easily when there are inadequate hygiene measures.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Symptoms

• Red eyes

• Burning sensation in the eyes

• Grittiness of the eyes

• Milky coloured discharge (purulent) or yellowy green discharge (mucopurulent)

• Crusting of eyelids  

• Eyelids feel stuck together on waking

Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Causes

• The most common types of bacteria that cause bacterial conjunctivitis include Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

• Contamination of the conjunctival surface

• Blepharitis

• Contact lens wearer

• Steroids

• Secondary to viral conjunctivitis

• Superficial trauma to the eyes

• Recent cold

• Sinusitis

• Diabetes

• Other immune diseases

Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Treatments

Bacterial conjunctivitis can resolve by itself in 5-7 days, however some patients are given antibiotics to speed up the recovery.

If a newborn baby has conjunctivitis, please seek medical assistance immediately.

• Clean your eyelids twice a day or more, with preservative free sterile lid wipes such as blephaclean to remove the crusting

• Antibiotic eye drops such as chloramphenicol, Fusidic acid etc

• Antibiotic eye ointments such as chloramphenicol, gentamicin etc

• If the condition does not improve seek further medical assistance

Prevention is the key; here are some precautionary measures you can take for any type of conjunctivitis

• Do not share towels, face cloths or tissues, especially if someone has bacterial conjunctivitis

• Do not share makeup

• Do not share eye drops or eye gels

• Do not share contact lenses

• Wash your hands before & after touching your face and eyes

• Use disinfecting hand wash

• Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, then wash your hands

• Clean communal services on a regular basis

• Switch to daily contact lenses if your hygiene is poor

• Remove contact lenses when showering, in the sauna, steaming or swimming