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What treatments work for conjunctivitis?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Conjunctivitis often clears up on its own. But if you have conjunctivitis that's caused by germs called bacteria, ointments or drops that contain antibiotics can help get rid of it more quickly.

In this section we've only looked at treatments for conjunctivitis caused by bacteria. If you have conjunctivitis caused by an allergy, your doctor may recommend eye drops containing sodium cromoglicate or medicines called antihistamines. These eye drops are also occasionally used to treat conjunctivitis that's caused by a virus. [18] You might also use decongestant or steroid eye drops for an allergy. We haven't looked at these treatments in detail here.

We've looked at the research on bacterial conjunctivitis, to see which treatments work.

Treatments for conjunctivitis

Treatments that are likely to work



If you have an allergy to something (such as pollen or a medicine), your body always overreacts to it. The reaction happens because your immune system (your body's system for fighting infection) is too sensitive to it.


Viruses are microbes (tiny organisms) that need the cells of humans or other animals to exist. They use the machinery of cells to reproduce. Then they spread to other cells in the body.

For more terms related to Conjunctivitis


For references related to Conjunctivitis click here.
Last Updated: March 13, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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