Skip to main content

Leaflet: Conjunctivitis

What is conjunctivitis?

It is an inflammation of the outer surface of the eyeball, the conjunctiva.

What are the causes?

It commonly results from an infection or an allergy. Infective conjunctivitis may be due to virus or bacteria and is often associated with colds or sore throats.

Allergic conjunctivitis is most commonly seen in the spring or summer associated with hayfever.

What treatment will I need?

This will depend on the type of conjunctivitis you have:

• Bacterial conjunctivitis – this responds very quickly to antibiotic drops and should resolve in four to five days

• Viral conjunctivitis – Unfortunately, there are no anti-viral drops or ointment to cure viral infections. The infection will usually resolve on its own, but it may take two or three weeks. Antibiotic drops are given to protect the eye from other bacterial infections.

Allergic conjunctivitis – this may respond readily to anti-allergy tablets but may require more long term specific treatment.

Can the conjunctivitis spread to other people?

Yes, but only if they come directly into contact with either the tears or discharge from your eyes.

Therefore, you should not let anyone use your flannel or towel and try to use paper tissues and dispose of these carefully.

Remember always wash your hands after touching your face or putting the eye drops in.

Experience and Complaints Team

Sirona’s Experience and Complaints Team provides on-the-spot help, advice and support to service users, relatives or carers. The Experience and Complaints Team is here to help anyone who has a query about Sirona and doesn’t know where to find the answer.

We also want to hear about your experience with Sirona, however good our services are, we know there is always room for improvement and those who use our services are the best to give us that feedback.

Our commitment to you in every contact we have with you is we will:

• Treat you with respect

• Treat your query seriously and do our utmost to put it right as quickly as possible

• Respect your confidentiality

• Keep you informed about what is going on

• Ensure that your care is not affected because of your query.

How to get in touch

Write to:

Experience and Complaints Team Manager

Sirona care and health

2nd Floor,Kingswood Civic Centre

High Street



BS15 9TR


Telephone: 0300 124 5400

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.

Date of creation: April 2018
Date of review: April 2020
URN: 118