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Treating Conjunctivitis

Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics will not be much effective in preventing this infection.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 20, 2003 21:32 IST
PTI

Since it is a viral infection, common antibiotics will not be effective in either preventing or curing this infection. But to prevent secondary bacterial infection, usually a mild anti-biotic drop will be prescribed. It is enough to use this drop 4 – 6 times a day.

In the initial stage, inflammation of the conjunctiva is the main problem. To reduce this, your ophthalmologist may give some anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of drops or tablets. It is preferable to restrict the topical drops, as much as possible. The inflamed eye cannot tolerate the preservatives in the eye drops. Also, this inflammation will cause a dry feeling in the eye.

To reduce discomfort, one can use preservative-free artificial teardrops frequently. You can also gently mop the closed lids with a clean wet cloth. Hot water should not be used. The presently available anti-viral drugs are not very effective against this virus. Steroid medication also should be avoided as far as possible.

This is because, steroids can reduce our body’s immune reactions and can actually increase the viral multiplication. In the later stages of immune reaction, steroids may suppress this reaction and improve symptoms like glare. But again, this suppression is only temporary and once the drug is stopped, the symptoms will recur.

So this treatment will actually prolong the course of the disease. Therefore, it is better to avoid steroids. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe steroids, if the inflammation is found to be very severe, to prevent scarring. Discuss with your ophthalmologist as to when you should use these drugs.

(Source: Webhealthcentre.com)

First Published: Aug 20, 2003 21:32 IST