NICE CKS on infective conjunctivitis


Infective conjunctivitis is defined as inflammation of the conjunctiva as a result of viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Infective conjunctivitis is usually self-limiting and rarely causes loss of vision. The most common cause of infective conjunctivitis is viral infection, which normally resolves within 7 days. Bacterial conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by infection with Streptococcus pneumoniaeStaphylococcus aureus, and Haemophilus influenzae, and typically resolves in 5–10 days. It is clinically challenging to differentiate viral and bacterial conjunctivitis.

This Guidelines for Pharmacy summary contains recommendations on excluding more serious causes of red eye (such as acute glaucoma, keratitis, iritis, and trauma), differentiating between viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, patient education on self-care techniques and infection control measures, judicious use of antibiotics, and red flag symptoms requiring referral to an ophthalmologist.

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