Bacterial Conjunctivitis

What Is Bacterial Conjunctivitis?

pictures of Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Picture 1 – Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Source – wikimedia

Bacterial Conjunctivitis is a type of Conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the transparent mucous membrane covering the eyeball and the area under the surface of the eyelid. This is an infectious condition and can be acute or chronic.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Symptoms

Read and know about some of the main signs and symptoms of Bacterial Conjunctivitis.


In Bacterial Conjunctivitis red eye is the most common symptom. This disorder leads to redness of the eyes and makes it very unpleasant to view.


The condition also results in a discharge from the eyes. This discharge can be whitish, greenish or yellowish in color. Most sufferers wake up in the mornings with discharge accumulated in their eyes. This makes it difficult to open their eyes for the first time after rising.


Bacterial Conjunctivitis causes severe crusts outside the affected eye. In many cases, crusts form over the infected eye as well as the area surrounding it.


Bacterial Conjunctivitis sufferers typically complain of irritation in their eyes. They have a gritty feeling as if sand particles have entered their eyes.


In acute cases, Bacterial Conjunctivitis results in a thick pus discharge from the eyes. In Bacterial Conjunctivitis one eye is typically affected first. In case of poor hygienic practices by people affected with Bacterial Conjunctivitis both eyes may suffer from infection.

Acute Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial Conjunctivitis turns acute when there is pus discharge from the eyes. This is frequently seen as a self-limiting condition but the highly discomforting symptoms may affect vision and make immediate treatment necessary. Acute Bacterial Conjunctivitis causes discharge from the eyes. It also gives rise to itching and other discomforts in the eye. In Bacterial Conjunctivitis pink eyes are the sign of acuteness of the disease. Most Bacterial Conjunctivitis cases turn acute in later stages.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Causes

Bacterial Conjunctivitis, as the name indicates, is caused by a bacterial infection of the conjunctiva of the eye. Some of the main varieties of bacteria causing this disease are Haemophilus influenzae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia.

Staphylococcus aureus is held to be the most common cause of this disorder. In acute cases, it can go on to infect the cornea and cause white circles on it indicating inflammation.

In many cases of Bacterial Conjunctivitis makeups and cosmetic products are found to be the causative factors. Staphylococcus epidermis bacteria are often found to inhabit these eye products and cause infection in the conjunctiva after a point of time. Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza are other microbial organisms that typically cause Bacterial Conjunctivitis in children.

The disease can also result from wearing unclean contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses without properly cleaning them can cause serious eye infection and lead to inflammation of the Conjunctiva.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Diagnosis

Bacterial Conjunctivitis is initially diagnosed with the aid of physical examination. In some people, swabs or scrapings of the affected Conjunctiva are tested in the laboratory to detect the presence of bacteria.

Giemsa Stains and Gram Stains are also used to detect microbial organisms and inflammatory cells. Gram Stain helps reveal whether an organism is gram-negative or gram-positive. Giemsa Stain reveals the condition of the inflammatory cells and epithelial cells. These tests help doctors use the appropriate medication for treating Bacterial Conjunctivitis.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Treatment

This disease usually resolves itself even without treatment. But treatment of Bacterial Conjunctivitis becomes necessary if the condition refuses to go away even after three days. Medical cure is seen highly required in case of acute Bacterial Conjunctivitis.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis is generally treated with a seven day course of antibiotics. In most patients of Bacterial Conjunctivitis antibiotic eye drops or ointments are used for cure. Ointments and eye drops are useful for treating mild cases of this disease. The disorder is usually cured with the help of topical antibiotics. An antibiotic eye drop of average strength is enough to remedy the condition.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Medications

Some of the typical medicines for Bacterial Conjunctivitis are Chloramphenicol, Fusidic acid, Aminoglycosides, Fluoroquinolones, Gentamicin and Trachoma.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Natural Remedies

Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis can be done not only with professional medical care but also natural remedies at home. Some of the most popular Bacterial Conjunctivitis natural remedies are

Warm compress

Soak a clean cloth in warm water and press over the closed affected eye. Do this for 5-10 minutes twice daily, preferably in the morning and evening.

Wearing sunglasses

Many Conjunctivitis patients are highly sensitive to bright light and suffer from eye pain as a result. Wearing sunglasses can decrease the irritation caused by bright sunlight.

Applying cool compress

Boil 3-4 cups of water in a bowl and let it cool under a cover. Soak a clean washcloth with the cool water and press against the affected eye for 5-10 minutes every day. Do this three to four times every day.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Prevention

Bacterial Conjunctivitis can be prevented by a number of ways like:

Changing pillowcases

A dirty pillowcase can infect the eye with bacteria and lead to Conjunctiva infection. Changing pillowcases every day or at least turning them inside out before sleeping can prevent bacterial infection of the eye.

Not using old eye make-ups

Old eye cosmetic products can contain the bacteria known as Staphylococcus epidermis. If you find your cosmetic products to be expired, it is better to get rid of them and buy new ones.

Avoiding touching eyes

Bacterial Conjunctivitis usually affects only one eye but can affect the other eye at a later stage. This happens when the affected person touches the infected eye with his hands and touches the other eye with the unwashed fingers. This can transmit the infection to the other eye as well.

Using clean contact lenses

As aforesaid, dirty contact lenses can give rise to infection in the eyes. Always clean and wash contacts before wearing them. Unclean contact lenses can cause inflammation of the eyes and lead to Bacterial Conjunctivitis. You should also avoid sharing contacts with someone suffering from the disorder.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Home Remedy

If you are suffering from Bacterial Conjunctivitis home treatment can be done with the aid of herbs. Some of the popular herbal remedies for Bacterial Conjunctivitis are

Neem leaves

Add 8-10 neem leaves into a litre of water and boil the solution. Soak a clean washcloth or a cotton pad with a small amount of this solution and wash your eyes for quicker recovery.

Babul leaves

Apply grounded leaves from the Babul tree over your infected eyes. Tie your eyes with a bandage at night when you are going to sleep. Untie the bandage in the morning.

How Long Does Bacterial Conjunctivitis Last?

Most cases of Bacterial Conjunctivitis usually go away in a few days without cure. The disease generally goes away after seven days of its onset. Acute cases of the condition take about two weeks to resolve after proper treatment. Bacterial Conjunctivitis recovery ultimately depends on the severity of the infection.

In Bacterial Conjunctivitis risk factors are rare. The disorder does not cause any complications. However, some organisms may cause systemic or corneal complexities in a few cases. Also, Bacterial Conjunctivitis spreads very quickly from person to person.

Is Bacterial Conjunctivitis Contagious?

Both Bacterial and Viral Conjunctivitis are highly contagious in nature. This is why you can find children contracting the disease from schools and playgrounds. This is not a serious disorder but can spread very quickly from one person to other. Family members should take care not to share towels, clothes or any other personal objects with family members. If any of your eyes has been infected, wash your hands every time you touch it. Bacteria can spread to your other eye on contact with the dirty hand.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Pictures

Want to know how eyes affected by this condition look like? Here are some useful Bacterial Conjunctivitis photos for you. Check out these Bacterial Conjunctivitis images and know how the condition makes the eyes appear.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis photos
Images of Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Viral Vs Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Viral Conjunctivitis and Bacterial Conjunctivitis are the two main types of contagious Conjunctivitis. Viral and Bacterial Conjunctivitis are often mistaken for each other but their symptoms are slightly different which help in their diagnosis when detection is done through physical observation. While Viral Conjunctivitis causes a watery discharge from the eyes, discharge in case of Bacterial Conjunctivitis may be white, yellow or green in color. Viral Conjunctivitis is also associated with Upper Respiratory Infection, fever and skin eruptions. Bacterial Conjunctivitis is also connected with Upper Respiratory Infection. But is may also be associated with several other diseases such as Rosacea, Seborrhic Dermatitis and purulent skin infections.

If you are having symptoms similar to Bacterial Conjunctivitis and are suffering for more than three days, it is advised that you get in touch with a doctor. Timely treatment will prevent the infection from becoming acute and help you recover within a few days.


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