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Conjunctivitis, Acute

Frances Y. Wu, MD, FAAFP Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Inflammation of the bulbar and/or palpebral conjunctiva of <4 weeks’ duration

  • System(s) affected: nervous, skin/exocrine

  • Synonym(s): pink eye

Geriatric Considerations
  • Suspect autoimmu...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

ALERT

Red flag: Any decrease in visual acuity is not consistent with conjunctivitis alone; must document normal vision for diagnosis of isolated conjunctivitis

 
  • Viral: contact or travel

    • ...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Viral conjunctivitis does not require antibiotics and resolves spontaneously.

  • Clean external eyelid with wet cloth up to QID.

  • Stop use of contact lenses while eye is red.

  • Eye pa...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • If not resolved within 5 to 7 days, reconsider diagnosis or consult specialist; some epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and other adenoviral conjunctivitis typically l...

REFERENCES

1
Steeples L, Mercieca K. Acute conjunctivitis in primary care: antibiotics and placebo associated with small increase in the proportion cured by 7 days compared with no treatment. Evid Base...

ADDITIONAL READING

Watson S, Cabrera-Aguas M, Khoo P. Common eye infections. Aust Prescr.  2018;41(3):67–72. [View Abstract on OvidMedline] 

SEE ALSO

  • Rhinitis, Allergic

  • Algorithm: Eye Pain

CODES

ICD10

  • H10.30 Unspecified acute conjunctivitis, unspecified eye

  • H10.33 Unspecified acute conjunctivitis, bilateral

  • H10.32 Unspecified acute conjunctivitis, left eye

  • H10.31 Unspecified acute conjuncti...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Conjunctivitis does not cause decreased acuity or photophobia. If visual acuity is decreased, consider more serious ophthalmic disorders.

  • Culture discharge in all contact lens wearer. C...

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