Eye infections bacterial conjunctivitis

Get advice on eye infection causes and how to treat

What is it?

Eye Infections are also known as infective conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin membrane that covers the white part of your eye and the inside of your eyelid. Acute bacterial conjunctivitis is infection that has been caused by bacteria and usually occurs when you are run down or your immune system is already low. This is why many people get conjunctivitis when they have a cold.

Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread easily through contact with the discharge from the eyes. This is why the condition often starts in one eye and then spreads to the other and also spreads easily from person to person.

What are the main causes?

  • Contact with someone who's already got the infection
  • Wearing contact lenses and having poor lens hygiene
  • Low immune system - for example when you have a cold or the flu
  • Touching your eyes when your fingers are not clean

What are the symptoms?

  • The white of your eye(s) may look inflamed and pink and your eyelids may be swollen.
  • Your eyes may feel gritty with a burning sensation (but are not usually painful).
  • You may have a sticky yellow discharge that makes your eyelashes stick together and can form a crust overnight making it hard to open your eyes after sleeping. The discharge may make your vision blurred but this should clear on blinking.
  • The condition can affect one eye first, but usually affects both eyes after a few hours

If you have any of the following symptoms you should seek specific medical advice:

  • Pain in the eye - conjunctivitis usually causes a burning sensation rather than pain
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision - with conjunctivitis any blurring should clear on blinking
  • A scratch or injury to the eye itself
  • A dislike of light in the eye - know as photophobia
  • Blister or sore patches present on the skin around or near the eye

What can I do about it?

The products in the Optrex Infected Eyes Range are for the treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis (eye infections).

Eye drops are great for those who wish to treat infected eyes regularly during waking hours. Eye ointment works effectively while you sleep and is easier to administer to those who are nervous of drops, or young children.

The two can be used together, but at different times. For example, drops during the day and ointment at night. Please refer to packs for dosage instructions and if you have a question about these products please ask your pharmacist.

(Optrex Infected Eye Drops and Optrex Infected Eye Ointment contain Chloramphenicol. Always read the label. Not suitable for children under 2 years.)

Top Tips:

  • Wash hands regularly especially after touching infected eyes
  • Don't share flannels, towels, pillows or make up to avoid spreading the infection
  • Don't wear eye make up until the infection has cleared up and dispose of partially used make up to avoid re contamination
  • If you wear contact lenses don't wear them until your infection has gone completely and make sure you clean them thoroughly before using again
  • Parents should remind children to wash their hands regularly and throw away any tissues they use to wipe their infected eyes

Want to know more?

Find out more about Optrex Infected Eye Drops (Pharmacy only)

Find out more about Optrex Infected Eye Ointment (Pharmacy only)


Always read the label