December 11, 2023

Sometimes, seeking medical care for Apollo eye disease (conjunctivitis, or Apollo) is crucial, though it is not always necessary. To help relieve inflammation and dryness caused by conjunctivitis, you can opt for cold compresses and artificial tears, which you can purchase over the counter without a prescription. It is also advisable to stop wearing contact lenses until your eye doctor approves it to wear them again. If you think medical consultation is unnecessary, avoid wearing your contacts until your symptoms of pink eye have entirely resolved.

Treatment for Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is a common eye condition that begins in one eye and then spreads to the others. Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are mild and typically clear up in one to two weeks without any treatment and without facing any long-term consequences. Still, in rare cases, it can take up to two to three weeks or more to resolve. The symptoms of viral conjunctivitis are:

  • Pinkness or, often, intense redness
  • Burning, a sensation of grittiness,
  • Mild eye pain, headache, or discomfort
  • Watery discharge from the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Other symptoms of viral infection, such as sore throat, runny nose and other cold symptoms

When symptoms are mild, viral conjunctivitis can often be diagnosed without consulting a doctor, and the condition can be treated at home. However, suppose there is any concern or uncertainty over the infection, or the symptoms are severe, including extreme pain or redness, inability to open the eye, eye discharge like pus, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light. In that case, it can be a cause of concern that needs immediate medical attention.

An eye care specialist can prescribe antiviral medication to treat more severe forms of conjunctivitis. For example, conjunctivitis is caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus. Antibiotics will not improve viral conjunctivitis; these drugs are ineffective against viruses.

Treatment for Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, caused by bacteria, is known as bacterial conjunctivitis. It is common but not severe, and one or both eyes can be affected. Some common symptoms are redness of the eye, burning, itching, a sensation of grittiness, mild pain or discomfort in the eye, sticky discharge, and swollen eyelids. Several cases of bacterial conjunctivitis resolve independently and require no specific treatment. Washing the eyes with water, a clean cloth, or a sterile pad and using eye drops, also known as lubricating eye drops or artificial tears, may help to relieve symptoms.

Generally, people complete recovery, and the condition does not cause any complications. However, bacterial conjunctivitis can be severe for newborns and people with weak immune systems, such as those who are undergoing cancer treatment or who have HIV. In addition, anyone experiencing symptoms should visit an eye care clinic to seek medical advice without delay.

Bacterial conjunctivitis often improves in 5-6 days but can take two weeks to go away completely without any treatment. Your eye doctor may prescribe bacterial conjunctivitis antibiotics, usually given topically as eye drops or ointment. Antibiotics help reduce the spread to others, shorten the length of infection, and reduce complications. Antibiotics may be mandatory in the following cases:

  • Eye discharge (pus)
  • When conjunctivitis happens in those who have weak immune system
  • When specific bacteria are suspected

Treatment for Allergic Conjunctivitis

There are two types of allergic conjunctivitis:

  • Acute Allergic Conjunctivitis: This is a common short-term condition. Some symptoms are itching, burning sensation, swollen eyelids, etc.
  • Chronic Allergic Conjunctivitis: Also known as persistent allergic conjunctivitis, occurs year-round. It responds to allergens like animal dander, pollen from grass and trees, mold spores, and chemical scents such as perfumes, household detergents, or dust. Common symptoms include burning, itching, and light sensitivity.

People experiencing some kind of allergies are more likely to develop allergic conjunctivitis. People living where high pollen counts are usual are also more susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis. Some of the common symptoms that mainly affect the eyes are:

  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • A burning feeling in the eyes
  • A feeling of grittiness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Puffy eyes in the morning

An eye doctor can examine the eyes based on the family history. They can also perform blood and allergy skin tests or take a scraping of your conjunctival tissue to examine your white blood cells to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis.

Some tips to treat allergic conjunctivitis at home include:

  • Avoid rubbing and touching the eyes, as this can make symptoms worse.
  • Wash the eyes thoroughly with artificial tears or saline eye drops, available over-the-counter from a pharmacy.
  • Apply a cool or warm compress to relieve inflammation and discomfort.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses for protection from pollen.
  • Take a shower after coming in from outside if pollen is a trigger.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after handling pets or other sources of allergens.

Some medications to treat allergic conjunctivitis include:

  • OTC antihistamine eye drops to decrease or block histamine release
  • Prescription allergy artificial tears, such as bepotastine (Bepreve)
  • Anti-inflammatory or anti-inflammation eye drops
  • Eye drops to shrink congested blood vessels
  • Steroid eye drops
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