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When to visit your GP if you think you may have Conjunctivitis

Most of us will at some point or another have experienced an episode of conjunctivitis. Whether this is personally or in our children, we must remember that it is fairly common but very contagious. The PYB Health content team has taken 5 minutes out of Dr Geraghty’s busy day to get some top tips of how to get rid of Conjunctivitis, and equally when we should be more concerned.

Dr Geraghty, Ashfield SurgeryQuestion  Dr Geraghty, how will a person know if they have Conjunctivitis?

Dr Geraghty One or both eyes usually become red, painful or itchy and maybe associated with swelling of the eye lids. You may also notice discharge from the affected eye. 

Question  What is the first think you should do if you have it?

Dr Geraghty Initially I would advise self care, remove contact lenses if you wear them, simple painful relief, bathe the eye with cooled boiled water and practice good hand hygiene to avoid spread as the condistion is contagious.

Question  Will you need to go out and buy ointment or drops?

Dr Geraghty Simple lubricant drops can be helpful for discomfort and help to lubricate and bathe the eye these are available from your pharmacist.

Question  How do you know when to go and see your GP?

Dr Geraghty If the eye becomes painful or the symptoms are persisting for greater than a week you should seek medical advice. If the eye becomes very swollen or you develop sensitivity to light (photophobia) or disturbance of your vision you should seek medical advice either form your GP or local optician immediately.

Question  Can Conjunctivitis be dangerous and potentially affect your eyesight?

Dr Geraghty Most cases of conjunctivitis are mild and can be treated with the simple measures described. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above or become concerned it is important to seek medical advice as rarely conjunctivitis can develop into more serious conditions.

Question  How long does it take to clear up, generally?

Dr Geraghty Usually conjunctivitis resolves within a week with simple measures, but if it persists for longer than this seeking advice from your optician, pharmacist or GP is recommended.


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